Car Owners Conned to Sell Vehicles

Auto & Tech Desk
Car Owners Conned to Sell Vehicles
Car Owners Conned to Sell Vehicles

Protesting the illegal activities of one local automotive company, over 100 disgruntled people gathered outside the headquarters of Iran’s Transportation and Fuel Management Headquarters affiliated to the Presidential Office in Tehran on Sunday.

The group had been swindled by Sadra Company, which in 2011 had promised to exchange their aging clunkers for new vehicles.

Demanding justice, the defrauded men and women protesters came from cities across the country, including Mashhad, Shiraz and Mahabad, to name a few to demand compensation.

“The company invalidated my fuel card and bought my old clunker for scrap,” one protestor said.  

“In the contract we signed back then, the company said that by the time we pay our installments, we will be given a new vehicle which we had selected.”

According to the protesters some 2,000 citizens have been deceived by the company.

The contracts had reportedly been ratified by the state entity known as the Transportation and Fuel Management Headquarters near which the crowd had gathered in protest.

The vehicles offered as replacement for the aging vehicles included Samand and Peugeot Pars, the cheapest models made by Iran Khodro Company, the country’s largest carmaker.

Depending on the car selected by the customers, they were asked to provide a down payment of between 160 million-200 million rials ($4,721-$5,900 at market exchange rate).

Despite the fact that these citizens sold their clunkers, took out loans to pay the down payment and have been paying their installments for the past four years, none of them received the cars as promised.

The contract stipulated that they would receive the cars within 60 days.    

One protestor said he is so fed up with the whole affair that he neither wanted the car nor his money back, but he just wanted the demands of his bank to end so that he “wouldn’t have to continue paying installments for God knows how long.”

Replacing clunkers with new cars was first proposed by the headquarters about five years ago.

To swap clunkers with new cars, citizens had been referred to Sadra Company by state offices at the time.

Registered as a private firm, Sadra Company started operations in 2010 as a construction company. It was later registered as an investment and vehicle procurement firm under the name Sadra Alborz Co. It does not have an officially registered website nor is it clear where they are located or what has become of them.

The Financial Tribune contacted the headquarters. Ali Hosseini, caretaker of the headquarters, commented that the issue had been raised in the latest meeting of the Coordination Council for Combating Economic Corruption and the government has been pushing the case so that people get their money back.

According to an IRNA report, Hosseini said Sadra collected $5.2 million (at market exchange rate) from car owners who were promised to receive their dues within 45 days.

Another unnamed official said the government of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had not closely monitored the affairs of this company, which gave rise to this corruption case.

“The least that the government of President Hassan Rouhani did when he took office is that they put a stop to new registrations with the company.”