Cars Car Buyers Getting Conned

Published on May 8th, 2022 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


How Malaysian Car Buyers Were Conned Before And Maybe Even Today

Car buyers might still continue to be conned with no “Lemon Law” to stop it

Not just from one brand, but from a few brands over the years. With no law in place to protect the Malaysian consumer (its called the Lemon Law) this will continue.

Let us start with a real ‘gem’ of a product, the Naza Sutera. Remember this compact little car that was one of the early China made vehicles that was brought into Malaysia. Code named the Naza NX-01.

This was a rebadged Hafei Lobo from China and in 2006 it arrived in showrooms to challenge the Perodua Myvi which was a far better vehicle. Powered by 1.1-liter DOHC 16-valve engine that produced 65hp of power at 5700rpm and 88Nm of torque between 2,500-3,000rpm most have ended up in junkyards due to lack of parts and failing build quality.

It was priced from RM35,998 and there were big plans for export which did not take off due to its build quality and overall cheap look and feel. Today a used unit sells for RM2k to 3k or so in a small village or large construction site for foreign workers to commute. 

Then came the Peugeot 207 in 2010, which was a ‘funny’ product as this sedan was not sold by Peugeot in France (simply not acceptable to the mature motoring public). Powered by a DOHC 16-valve 1.6-litre engine with 110bhp and 147Nm of torque that comes in from 4,000 rpm, this sedan which was for third world country only buyers used a 4-speed automatic gearbox and was priced at RM72,888. In the used car classifieds today, this low cost Peugeot is valued at RM4k-6k and there are many units for sale.

The two above cars came after Proton had a range of low quality cars that were ‘unloaded’ on unsuspecting lower income Malaysians who saved up hard to own and drive a decent new car. We are talking about the Proton Tiara which was a rebadged failure product from Citroen (Citroen AX) and today most units are in junkyards and a handful on the road with price hovering between RM2k-3k.

Let us not forget the great Proton Juara MPV which got many rural families spending their life savings for a family vehicle that was no where as good as its donor rebadged car, the Mitsubishi Townbox. The Townbox was sold in Singapore with some success and Proton decided to cheapen it and call it the Juara and with a price tag of RM49,203.62. Today a handful are on the road and its value sits between RM3k-4k.

The lower middle class and middle class Malaysian who works hard for the money and dreams of owning a decent car has been manipulated and ‘played’ with decade after decade in the name of progress and technology transfer. The only transfer we have seen is the transfer of huge amount of funds in privileged pockets. The only progress was the bank balance of the sellers.

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