Do you remember the most expensive luxury car claim lawsuit of Guizhou Bentley owners?
The owner, Yang Mou, paid 5.5 million yuan to buy a Bentley Muzan, and accidentally found that the new British imported car had a record of major overhaul, so he took the dealer to court. In the first and second instance, the court found that Xinguixing Company (distributor) had fraudulent acts. In addition to returning the car to the owner, the court also assumed punitive liability of three times the purchase price (16.5 million yuan).
However, the one refund, one compensation and three compensation case, which is concerned by the society, has recently ushered in a reversal.
On December 4, the official website of the Supreme Peoples Court announced the final judgment: revoke the judgment of the court of first instance on refund one claim three, and decide on dealers to compensate the buyers for 110,000 yuan. In addition, the owners need to bear a total of 311,000 yuan litigation fee.
A consumer fraud complaint dispute is tried and settled by the Supreme Peoples Court, which is the first time in the history of our country. Naturally, it is also of great guiding significance to the judgment of future cases in the field of consumption. Each edition notes that the focus of disputes between the two sides is whether the dealers behavior conforms to the fraud identified in Article 55 of the Consumer Rights and Interests Protection Law, so as to achieve the compensation conditions of one refund, three compensation.
Photo Source: Visual China
The Supreme Peoples Court not only protects the consumersright to know, but also corrects the previous cases of excessive protection of consumers rights, which undoubtedly provides an important reference for similar consumer disputes in the future.
Bentley owners claim 16.5 million yuan
In the second half of 2014, Guizhou owner Yang Mou purchased an imported Bentley car worth 5.5 million yuan. After using the car for nearly two years, Yang found that the vehicle had been processed twice through the network. He believed that the dealer sold a troubled car which had been overhauled and caused huge losses. He filed a lawsuit, demanding that the dealer compensate the dealer for tripling the purchase cost of the car by 16.5 million yuan, and returned the purchase cost and the purchase tax of the vehicle by nearly 6 million yuan.
The distributor, Xinguixing Company, complained that in July 2014, Xinguixing Company repaired the paint damage under the left front door of the vehicle during the PDI inspection of the newly arrived Binlimushan. In October, the right rear curtain assembly of the vehicle involved was replaced without informing the user when the vehicle was delivered. Xinguixing said that the right rear curtain was replaced. It was the owners opinion, but there was no evidence of the owners signature.
On October 16, 2017, the Guizhou Provincial High Court issued a first instance judgment, which found that the car dealer constituted a consumer fraud, cancelled the sales contract, the car owner returned the car, and the car dealer made triple compensation while refunding the car payment. For this reason, the car owner of Bentley Mushan was compensated by 16.5 million yuan. The distributor then appealed, but the second instance upheld the original verdict.
Final Judgment Revision: Car Owners Inverted 200,000
However, the distributor continued to appeal and the case was finally referred to the Fifth Circuit Court of the Supreme Peoples Court. The public hearing of this case has also aroused widespread public concern.
Every editor noticed that the China Automobile Circulation Association and the China Consumer Association expressed their views to the court respectively.
According to the China Automobile Circulation Association, the PDI procedure (pre-delivery inspection of new cars) is a common practice in the industry. The dealer authorized by the manufacturer shall treat the minor problems found before delivery as the behavior of the manufacturer in accordance with the manufacturers norms and standards, with the aim of ensuring that a qualified new car is provided to the consumer. In this case, the paint polishing, waxing and curtain replacement of Bentley are PDI procedures.
The Chinese Consumer Association said the regulation could not restrict consumers. PDI procedure does not inform consumers, violates the provisions of the Consumer Rights and Interests Protection Law, infringes on consumersright to know, constitutes fraud, should be judged to return the vehicle, based on the price of the whole vehicle to compensate consumers three times.
Recently, the Fifth Circuit Court of the Supreme Peoples Court ruled that the plaintiffs owners claim for one refund, three compensation was rejected and the dealer was allowed to compensate the buyer for 110,000 yuan. At the same time, the owners are mainly responsible for the litigation fees up to 311,000 yuan.
The Peoples Courts Wechat Public Number also explained in detail the reasons for the change of the final judgment.
After trial, the Supreme Peoples Court found that the dealer polished and waxed a paint defect in the door before handing in the car, but it did not involve sheet metal and spray paint. The curtain was replaced with the imported original assembly. The two processing records were uploaded to the relevant network by the dealer.
The Supreme Peoples Court held that Yang Mous proposition that polishing and waxing of car paint and curtain replacement belong to overhaul and that the car belongs to a problem car is obviously inconsistent with the publics reasonable understanding of overhaul. The vehicle has complete import procedures and has not been used by others. The vehicle provided by the dealer meets the contract agreement. Yang Mous claim of huge loss has no evidence.
But at the same time, the Supreme Peoples Court held that although the curtain is not an important part of the vehicle, the value of the parts is not significantly low because of the replacement of parts. Even if the replacement is imported original parts, the distributor should still tell the truth. At the same time, the problems involved are obviously minor, which obviously does not endanger the safety performance, main functions and basic uses of vehicles, and does not adversely affect the daily use of vehicles of Yang Mou, and does not affect the property interests of Yang Mou. When the dealer signed the contract, the car had not yet arrived at the store, and did not know the existence of minor problems. After treatment, the dealer recorded and uploaded the information on his own initiative without concealing the subjective intention.
The court has clearly reminded distributors that it is still not enough to record and upload information on the internet. The distributors should inform the buyers directly in person and on the spot, otherwise they will still be sentenced to bear the corresponding liability for compensation.
The final judgment mentions that, taking into account the protection of consumerscognitive ability and consumption psychology, as well as the encouragement and guidance for operators to instantly record and upload relevant information, the court decided that dealers should compensate the buyers for 110,000 yuan.
Supporting Car BuyersRational Rights Defense
Car dealers properly deal with minor problems of new cars arriving at stores. Although they have recorded and uploaded to the network platform, they have not concealed the subjective intent, but they have not told consumers directly when delivering the cars. Does the dealers constitute fraud?
Every edition notes that similar fraud complaints and disputes in this case are not uncommon. In 2016, a Land Rover 4S shop in Wenzhou was also sentenced to 3.144 million yuan in the first instance for not informing its owner of PDI repair records. In the second instance, the court sentenced the 4S shop of Land Rover to compensate the owner for 350,000 yuan, and rejected the owner Huang Mous other claims.
There is no inconsistency in the understanding of courts in dealing with minor defects or problems without informing consumers whether they constitute fraud under the elimination law. Some courts have fully supported the buyers request for one refund, three compensation, while others have completely rejected the buyers claim.
Photo Source: Visual China
According to the Peoples Court newspaper, this black or white too rigid judicial path has aroused considerable controversy. If it is found that the dealers behavior constitutes fraud, the provisions of Article 55 of the Elimination Law shall be applied and the judgment of one refund and three compensation shall be made, which is a clear provision of the law. However, if the information that the dealer did not inform had little effect on the buyer, especially if the dealer had no obvious intention of concealing, whether it should still be considered as fraud under the elimination law is a key issue worth discussing.
In the final instance of Bentleys one refund, one compensation and three compensation cases, the main factors considered by the Supreme Peoples Court include:
(1) Whether it affects the fundamental purpose of the auto purchasers contracting. According to the Supreme Peoples Court, the curtain problem does not involve the power system of the vehicle, such as the engine and transmission, the steering system, braking system, suspension system and safety system of the vehicle, the main parts of the front and rear axles and the main harness of the vehicle, and does not endanger the safety performance, main functions and basic uses of the vehicle. Relevant repair measures are slight and take a short time, so the relevant information does not belong to the important information that affects the fundamental purpose of the car buyers contracting.
(2) Whether the distributor has the subjective intention of concealing relevant information. The Supreme Peoples Court finally concluded that although the dealers behavior had a certain impact on the buyers right to know, it did not constitute fraud and should not apply the punitive damages stipulation of one refund, three compensation.
The owner of the car originally claimed 16.5 million yuan, but the ultimate compensation can not cover the litigation costs, and he has to paste back 200,000 yuan. Some experts believe that this is also a moderate reminder to the parties that litigation costs. The buyer takes the troubled car with overhaul record and causing huge losses as the logical starting point of the lawsuit and makes a huge claim for compensation, which ultimately results in the amount of compensation less than the amount of litigation fees it should bear.
Source: Daily Economic News Responsible Editor: Wang Zheng_N7526