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Consumer Protection fears some WA consumers are at risk of suffering large losses after the closure of a West Perth car dealership which specialised in selling luxury vehicles on consignment.
So far 15 car owners who signed consignment contracts with Luxuride in Newcastle Street have reported being out of pocket a total of $960,000.
The car yard was operated by Luxuride Pty Ltd. Director Nicolas Ngo is believed to have left Australia with his partner on 14 April 2018.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said, after getting reports from consumers who were not paid, automotive branch officers attended the premises.
“With the assistance of staff, we managed to obtain the contact details of 48 owners whose vehicles were still for sale in the car yard and all but two of those vehicles have now been returned,” Mr Hillyard said.
“However, fourteen consumers who have contacted us claim to be owed significant amounts of money by the company. In most cases their cars were sold but they didn’t receive the proceeds and, in one case, a consumer paid for a vehicle upfront but didn’t receive it and we believe the vehicle has now been on sold to another buyer.
“This closure could be financially devastating for the car owners with many of the sellers now out of pocket, some by up to $100,000. They are now without their vehicle and, in some cases, finance is still owed.
“Until the business is formerly wound up, it is unclear how much of the money owed can be recovered but we are hopeful there will some returns for the affected consumers.”
In February 2018, Consumer Protection charged the company and Mr Ngo for allegedly failing to comply with laws relating to selling vehicles on consignment and for allegedly making false or misleading representations to the owners of the vehicles.
Luxuride and Mr Ngo were charged with breaching the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act by:
It’s further alleged the Australian Consumer Law was also breached when false or misleading representations were made to vehicle owners regarding the sale price, enabling the dealership to gain a higher profit.
A media statement relating to the charges was issued at the time: West Perth car dealer charged over consignment selling practices (Luxuride / Nicolas Ngo)
Department of Transport officers served a Notice of Termination of the On Line Dealer Agreement between DoT and Luxuride on 23 April 2018, following a number of Events of Default identified through Compliance investigations. Access to the department's licensing system had been cancelled since 23 March 2018. DoT Compliance officers removed all relevant documentation and an number of vehicle registration plates. Enquiries are continuing.
Consumers who have had dealings with Luxuride and believe they are owed money but have yet to contact Consumer Protection can email email@example.com or call 1300 30 40 54. Information regarding the laws covering the selling of vehicles on consignment is available on the Consumer Protection website www.consumerprotection.wa.gov.au.
Media Contact: Alan Hynd, (08) 6552 9248 / 0429 078 791 firstname.lastname@example.org