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Spring to start legal proceedings against SG Vehicles group of companies

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The move follows thorough investigation of complaints by consumers against SG Vehicles to the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case).

SPRING Singapore on Monday said it will apply to the High Court on Dec 19 for a declaration and/or injunction to be granted against parallel importer of cars SG Vehicles group of companies for engaging in unfair practices.

This is the first time Spring will take legal action under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act.

Wtih this, SG Vehicles will have to cease the unfair practices and comply with accompanying orders if the declaration and/or injunction is granted.

The move follows thorough investigation of complaints by consumers against SG Vehicles to the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case).

The complaints related to representations of the terms and conditions of the sale agreement which could have potentially misled the complainants.

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A July media report also listed misleading claims, false claims, defective goods, late delivery of vehicles, persistently unsuccessful bidding for certificates of entitlement and buyers being told to pay more for their cars after a sales agreement had been signed, as some of the complaints filed.

The company operated under names such as SG Vehicles Asia, SG Vehicles Continental and SG Vehicles Global.

In December 2015, Case placed SG Vehicles under its "Company Alert" list in view of the complaints received.

Between 2015 and 2017, Case sought to resolve these complaints through negotiation and mediation. However, the number of complaints lodged against the company persisted despite Case's intervention, and a second alert was issued by Case in June 2017.

In July 2017, Case invited SG Vehicles to sign a voluntary compliance agreement to stop engaging in unfair practices, but the company did not sign it.

The matter was then referred by Case to Spring for further action. Following further investigations, Spring decided to commence legal proceedings.

Notwithstanding the upcoming legal proceedings, SG Vehicles must continue to honour sales agreements made with their customers, Spring said.

In addition, consumers can take civil action via the Small Claims Tribunal.

Spring said: "Case and Spring take a very serious view regarding retailers which engage in unfair trading practices and will not hesitate to take action if needed... It is also important for consumers to know their rights and be alert to unfair trading practices so that they can be in a good position to make sound purchasing decisions."

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