Car dealer rapped by watchdog

By Chloe Johnson

Tony Foster. Photo / Supplied
Tony Foster. Photo / Supplied

A car dealer has been been criticised by advertising watchdogs for misleading customers by advertising false odometer readings.

Tony Foster, 40, laid a complaint about Silvester Motor Company as "misleading" and "deceiving" after it incorrectly advertised cars for sale on Trade Me.

The Christchurch-based company was selling three 2009 Kia Ceratos, priced at $17,999, stating they had done "up to 60,000km".

Foster rang the dealers to confirm the advertised information then drove an hour to view the car.

When he arrived, only one car was available. It was covered in small dents and the mileage was 7000km more than advertised.

Foster said he tried to negotiate a discount of $2000 but the dealer refused. "They only offered us a $500 discount but we didn't feel that was enough." Foster laid a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority which ruled the ad was misleading and lacked the sense of social responsibility required.

Foster said he was happy with the decision but the company should be disciplined further.

"Do they get a black mark against their name and that's that? What is the point if they just get a slap on the hand? I sincerely believe they were out to deceive in the first place."

Silvester Motor Company refused to comment.

But in a submission to the ASA, a representative said: "The overall value of the vehicles, in my 30 years' experience, is not effected [sic] by the odometer reading."

- Herald on Sunday

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