By Ahmed Amer
ARTOC Auto, Skoda’s agent in Egypt, will take legal action to appeal a verdict by the Economic Court to fine the company for EGP 100,000, said General Manager Ahmed Mehrez, who was also ordered to pay EGP 10,000 in civil compensation.
Mehrez told Daily News Egypt that the company will also take legal action against the Consumer Protection Agency (CPA).
On his part, After Sales General Manager at ARTOC Auto Ashraf Hafez said the defect that resulted in the case against the company was due to misuse by the customer, not a manufacturing defect. The problem was fixed nevertheless, he added.
Hafez said the customer had reported that the defect still existed, and that the company had to change the defective part at its expense. However, when the vehicle was inspected, the defect was not found.
Hafez told Daily News Egypt that the Faculties of Engineering in Helwan University and in Matariya have inspected the vehicle carefully. Their reports, according to Hafez, indicated that the defect was no longer there, unlike the final report sent to the CPA.
The Cairo Economic Court had ruled in case no. 623/2015 to fine the legal representative of ARTOC Auto a sum of EGP 100,000, compelling him to pay the customer a sum of EGP 10,000 as a temporary civil compensation, and all civil and criminal expenses, and to publish the ruling in two widely-circulated newspapers.
Meanwhile, head of the CPA Atef Yacoub said the ruling was based on a complaint received by the CPA from a citizen. He added that the complaint pertained to a Skoda Octavia A7 defect in the suspension system when driving.
Yacoub said the complaint was transferred to the Automotive Technical Department of the CPA, which asked the company to fix the vehicle or replace it with another one of the same model and specification, or else fully refund the customer within two weeks.
He explained that the Faculty of Engineering at Ain Shams University discovered that the vehicle emitted a strange sound from the front and back of the car’s suspension system when driving at low speeds only. The technical department reported that the company failed to fix the car in question, replace it, or refund the customer.
The CPA’s Board of Directors then issued a decision obliging the company to replace the vehicle or refund the customer within 20 days.
Yacoub said the ruling could strongly deter companies that do not comply with consumer protection law, or implement the CPA’s decisions.