Customer locks horns with Porsche over damage

By Pham Hai, Thanh Nhan   April 19, 2023 | 04:54 pm PT
Customer locks horns with Porsche over damage
Pham Anh Tan's Porsche Macan. Photo courtesy of Pham Anh Tan
The owner of a Macan SUV is claiming that Porsche employees broke his VND600 million ($25,500) gearbox during maintenance, but the automaker denies the accusation.

In early December, Ho Chi Minh City resident Pham Anh Tan in Ho Chi Minh City brought his 2016 Macan to Porsche Sai Gon for a front bumper replacement after the car collided with a motorbike.

He retrieved the car nine days later and drove it back to his home, 15 kilometers away, without any problem.

Tan left the car unused for about a week. When he started using it, the screen showed several issues, including lack of oil, "engine fail," and "gearbox fail."

He could start the car but could not shift gears to start driving. Porsche technicians advised him to put a liter of oil into the engine, but still the car could not drive.

As it was Christmas and Porsche maintenance service was on holiday, Tan brought his car to a third-party garage, where the technicians said the gearbox oil was leaking and advised him to bring it to Porsche.

By the end of December, Tan brought the car to Porsche, and he was told that the leakage in the oil had damaged the valve body, and the whole gearbox needed to be replaced at the cost of VND600 million.

Tan said that the car never had this issue before the front bumper was fixed and therefore he suspected that the problem arose from the reparation process at Porsche.

He demanded to see the CCTV footage of the Porsche workshop, but was only shown some parts of the process as Porsche said that some footage could not be revealed as it contained business secrets.

Pham Anh Tans Porsche Macan with the valve body detached. Photo courtesy of Pham Anh Tan

Pham Anh Tan's Porsche Macan with the valve body detached. Photo courtesy of Pham Anh Tan

In the footage, Tan saw that his car was connected to a tool to assess issues and some Porsche employees drove the car around for testing. "My car only needed a bumper replacement, why were those processes necessary?" Tan said.

He also said that when he received the car back Porsche employees did not provide any documents to confirm the vehicle was free of issues.

A representative of the German automaker, however, said that Porsche maintenance policy requires every vehicle to go through the same process to ensure all functions of the car operate normally.

When Tan took the car back to Porsche a second time, technicians found that the incorrect type of oil was put in the gearbox and glue was used in the reparation even though it is not needed according to Porsche standards.

The damage to the gearbox, therefore, does not fall under the responsibility of Porsche, the representative said.
Porsche, however, admitted to being wrong in the process of receiving and handing over the car to Tan without any paperwork.

The automaker therefore proposed a 40% discount on the gearbox replacement, which means Tan would need to pay VND360 million for the new part.

But Tan refused the offer and demanded his car be returned after three months in the Porsche workshop. At the end of last month Tan came to Porsche to get the car and was asked to sign a statement saying the vehicle had no issues before employees released the car.

Tan refused to sign.

The statement said that Porsche employees dismantled the valve body to check for issues without first seeking his approval.

The service consultant who had been working with Tan quit two days after Tan visited Porsche demanding his vehicle back. The employee informed him Tan the resignation via text message.

Porsche said that the employee had been transferred to a new position but would continue to help Tan concerning everything relating to the broken Macan.

The two parties have yet to come to an agreement.

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