The ink has only just dried up on the newly signed Philippine Lemon Law and already one case has been filed with the Department of Trade and Industry.
According to a report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, businessman and retired Philippine Air Force colonel Ricardo Nolasco, Jr. filed a complaint to avail of his lemon law rights against PGA Cars, Inc. as the dealer and Audi Motorcars, Inc. as the manufacturer.
The car in question is a 2014 Audi A6 3.0 TDI that was bought last May 30, 2014. Based on the PDI report, Nolasco alleges that his new A6 “showed signs of defects as erratic and/or random error messages kept appearing on the dashboard which were very alarming and misleading.”
The 2014 Audi A6 has been brought back to the dealer a total of four (4) times to try and correct the issues to no avail. Nolasco is seeking to have his A6 replaced in the 11-page complaint letter filed by lawyers Teodoro Jumamil and Stanley Gotohio.
According to PDI, the implementing agency of the Philippine Lemon Law, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has issued a notice of mediation to the parties in the case. Republic Act 10642 (the Philippine Lemon Law) was signed by President Benigno Aquino III last July 15.
The PDI report also quotes the complaint which reads: "On the third instance the A6 3.0 TDI was brought to Audi and/or PGA for repairs, complainant Nolasco was made to believe the computer display was replaced"
"This time, the said messages did not only cause alarm but actually impaired and/or affected the performance of the subject" as "the electronic suspension and steering wheel... became so hard and very difficult to handle," the complaint read.
Nolasco reportedly sent a demand letter to Benedicto Coyiuto, the head of Audi Philippines, to invoke his rights under the Philippine Lemon Law and the 1992 Consumer Act of the Philippines. When the demands were not met to Nolasco's satisfaction, he filed the case with the DTI as the agency with jurisdiction regarding the Philippine Lemon Law.
Audi Motorcars/PGA Cars issues a response
In the interest of balanced reporting, we contacted PGA Cars and Audi Motorcars to get their official statement regarding the car and the issue surrounding it.
Below is the statement sent to us in full:
In light of a recent complaint filed by retired Air Force colonel Ricardo L. Nolasco regarding an allegedly defective Audi A6 TDI he purchased last May 30, 2014, Audi Motorcars emphasized that Republic Act No. 10642 – otherwise known as “The Philippine Lemon Law” – is completely not applicable in this case. “In the first place, the car is not defective; the Lemon Law protects consumers against ‘lemons’, or substandard cars. The vehicle is most assuredly not a lemon,” stressed Lito Jose, Sales and Marketing Director of Audi Motorcars, Inc. “Audi is one of the leading and most respected luxury automotive brands in the world, and we make sure to uphold this proud heritage in the Philippines,” he added.
It was confirmed that the Audi A6 TDI was given full clearance to be released last September 2, 2014 after passing comprehensive diagnostic testing, but the owner has thus declined to retrieve his vehicle, have it delivered, or even test-drive it.
“Based on our records and probably that of the Land Transportation Office (LTO), it is Mr. Reynaldo Anonuevo who is the registered owner of the vehicle, thus we are doubly perplexed why it is Mr. Nolasco who filed this misplaced complaint, and not Mr. Anonuevo,” Jose emphasized. “Nevertheless, we are committed to provide the best after-sales service within our abilities”.
While the vehicle was indeed brought in for servicing, Jose clarified that these involved minor issues and were readily resolved. “There are absolutely no more concerns, and any capable mechanic will attest that it is in perfect running condition,” he noted. “In fact, one of the owner’s first complaints was that the CD player was supposedly defective. We found out that there was nothing wrong with the player, but the pirated CD he inserted could not be read”.
At present, the vehicle still remains unclaimed in the Audi Service Center along EDSA. “Frankly, we are at a loss why he filed this complaint, when the vehicle has been sitting here for over a month now, ready for retrieval,” Jose stated. “He has an Audi here that is as good as new, ready to be driven at any time,” he concluded.