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Customers vent, offer advice online

A chat group on WhatsApp formed by the angry customers of Volks Auto has grown to about 90 members.

And the emotional chatter has intensified, with members lashing out against the dealership, offering legal advice to each other and sharing their experiences with the parallel importer.

They have been doing this on car forums online and in the group chat after the showroom closed on Saturday.

"I really want to skin this b******," said one member, referring to the director of Volks Auto, Mr Alvin Loo.

"All these are our hard-earned money that they cheated," said another.

There were also comments from buyers about how Volks Auto managed to get away with $1.6 million worth of deposits.

Many said that after they forked out the downpayments, the director told them their cars were being inspected by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), and that the matter was out of his hands.

One text message shared by a buyer showed a response from a sales staff from the company that said: "The LTA side upset my boss a lot over the waiting period for car inspection too."

Said one buyer in the group chat: "They pushed everything onto LTA. I called LTA, but the officers requested for the engine and chassis number."

These details were not given to customers of Volks Auto.

When one customer asked for the information, Mr Loo apparently told him: "Documents I have, but cannot show you now because it's parallel import and sensitive."

With the director now missing, there was no way the customers could trace the cars they ordered.

One buyer, who wanted to be known only as David, said: "If a deposit is placed, the company should have followed up on it."

He told TNP: "In the past, the deposit required was small, compared to today. New laws mean that before delivery, we need to pay 50 per cent of the car's (price).

"That means that a lot more money is in the hands of the parallel importers."

David paid $20,700 for a Honda Vezel. He believes he has already lost the entire sum.

"This guy just kept collecting deposits... Why are there no regulations to control this?

"I have likely lost all my deposit, but I hope something good can come out of this," he added.