Another scandal for alleged fraud at Volkswagen and its official dealers: this time, Guido Guidi
The automotive Volkswagen is at the center of the controversy. At this time, it is signaled by hundreds of customers for not taking the reins after having unleashed a serious scandal in the largest official dealer network and that is seriously compromising the image of the German brand in Argentina.
It is a maneuver, described by those affected as a flat and plain scam, carried out by Guido Guidi and in which it is estimated there are more than 200 victims, who were never given the cars they had paid in full or that they were paying through a savings plan.
This is not the first scandal that the firm has to face, since it was linked to the biggest embezzlement that occurred in an automotive: it was in 2013, when four dealers were left with 2,000 cars that were invoiced and were distributed among them, for a sum that today would amount to almost $ 750 million and they were never charged.
In this then, everything was in a change of authorities in the group and the exit of several managers, but the investigation did not prosper. But there is a minor detail: one of the official agencies that was part of that maneuver was Guido Guidi, the same one who is currently accused of alleged fraud, which further damages the image of Volkswagen in Argentina. Baireswagen, Montanari Automotores and Cerro Auto were other agencies that had been targeted.
Now, in the scandal that jumped these days, the stories are repeated. Daniela Cabrera, one of the affected customers, said that she signed up for an Autoplan in 2017, for a Volkswagen Up and that they should have delivered it several months ago because she paid everything that corresponded after bidding. But nobody answers their calls.
"I have paid 20 installments, I made a tender, I paid what corresponds and even more, I started to get attention when everything was delayed, since in March they should have given me the car," he explained.
Then he continued: "The communication was always in telephone form with the secretary of the manager of the Avenida Miter dealership at 2100, until one day they proposed to pay me into the Registry the patenting and then make a transfer of the rest of the expenses. but I could not because I was in love, so I paid them $ 40,000 in March, the issue is that the procedure was never done and they told me that they used the money for something else, that I would repay the money later, " followed the story.
Faced with the refusal to repay the expense, and after several twists and turns, the car was patented. He's at the dealership, but they never gave it to him.
That's when Cabrera began sending letters to Guido Guidi and Volkswagen, who did not respond to his calls. Also at the car they tell him that the vehicle was delivered on May 29, when it was billed, but that never happened.
Next July 26 will have a conciliation hearing in Consumer Defense with the concessionaire and the terminal.
To add more problems to the original problem, the fee increased because now he added the insurance of the car that supposedly should have been delivered.
"In Volkswagen they tell me that the dealer has to respond, but I pay them the installments, which is why I'm going to send them a document letter," he said.
The concessionaire with whom Daniela took out the plan is at the 2100 of Avenida Mitre. "It's a place of many years in which I trusted," he said.
Mauro Rosello is another of the affected, who organized a WhatsApp group with more than 100 people affected by the same problem. Everyone bought a vehicle in Guido Guidi, they paid cash, but they did not receive the 0Km.
"In my case, it was my mom who made the operation, she bought a van in October 2018. We were told they would deliver it in November, then it was December, and until the end of the year, and in January I traveled to Buenos Aires to see what was going on. and Fernando Guidi, who assured me that they would deliver it to me, then I stayed calm, but time passed and they never complied, "he explained.
"In February I went back to travel and filed a complaint with Volkswagen, because before choosing the dealership we called the automaker to ask about it, and they told us in Customer Service that it belonged to the official network and that it was reliable," he explained. .
"As at the time I had that backing from Volkswagen, I called again but they started kicking me," Mauro added.
Then it was when they began to contact people from Córdoba and Santa Fe to whom the same thing had happened. "What nobody closed to him is that Volkswagen kept saying that everything was fine with the dealer," Roselló reasured.
As reported by the victims, the worst of the situation is that this support from VW to Guidi includes customers who also bought in April and others in May, that is, recent cases, when for many months they had been failing to comply from the dealer.
Even two weeks ago a person called Volkswagen posing as a customer and, once again, they told him that Guido Guidi was delivering accordingly, Roselló said.
On the other hand, Roselló said that three weeks ago he was called from the automaker for his case, that in 10 days they would have answers, but after 7 days they called again to tell him that the documentation he sent was not legible. He added that the same was said to 25 of 40 people. Although they informed him that in three days they were going to be contacted, they never called him again.
Next week they will make a claim in front of the automaker's doors in Pacheco.
The case takes more than five years but only now the automaker would be acting and seek solutions for the victims, although many customers still complain of not receiving a response. Some cases are already in commercial courts.
Legal responsibilities and reparation promises
From the legal point of view, experts consulted by iProfesional pointed out that, in principle, the automaker did not fulfill its duty of control over the concessionaires and that, by the Consumer Defense Law, they would be obliged to respond with the delivery of the vehicle and compensate for the damages caused since they are a link in the marketing chain.
That is, the manufacturer made a serious omission that ended up hurting the buyers. Anyway, warn that some courts take into account the literalness of the letter of the law and detach the automakers.
Why? Is that the rules establishes the joint liability of the producer and the marketer for damages resulting from the vice or risk of the thing, for example malfunction, but for some magistrates these concepts only reach manufacturing defects and not the lack of Delivery in time and form by the concessionaire.
In this way, the fate of the file in the courts will depend on the court in which it falls. If the judge disclaims responsibility to the automaker, there will be customers who not only lose what they paid for the car but also have to pay the costs of the trial.
The solution will depend on the supporting documentation delivered by those affected. From the firm added that those who have not yet been contacted communicate with the call center to publicize their situation. But many affected distrust.
Another problem for Guidi
Guido Guidi was one of the most important dealerships of the Volkswagen group, founded in 1959 by whom he gave that name to the points of sale. It had four branches of its own, two after-sales workshops and had more than 200 employees.
The worst of the crisis broke out in 2014, when it went into default after a class action lawsuit by customers, for charging cars that had not been delivered. Before that, he had also been involved in a maneuver to sell vehicles to the National Executive Power, in one of the legal cases involving the former Vice President, Amado Boudou.
The situation continued to worsen and today it owes bonuses and salary percentages to 150 employees from last year. In social networks, the claims of customers who deposited advances and paid dues for vehicles they never received have accumulated for a long time.
Even in 2018 it had been suspended due to maneuvers with savings plans. Now Volkswagen Argentina informed that the Guido Guidi company ceased to belong to the official dealer network of the brand. But for many, the measure came too late.
This is not all: the Union of United Consumers (UCU) is collecting cases against Alra (Volkswagen dealership) for lack of delivery of contracted cars through savings plans via telephone. Although they had already jumped problems with this agency long ago, it could become a new stain for the already beaten image of the German brand in Argentina.