Vendor who sold damaged and dangerous paraphernalia warns there may be more on our roads – New Zealand Herald | CarTailz

Jeremy Jane, known as Russell, says he’s glad he got a refund of the $38,000 he paid for a disabled Toyota Hilux. Photo / Included

The dealer who sold two Hilux Utes, one of which turned out to be immobilized, warns there could be more being unknowingly driven on our roads.

Vehicle Imports Direct’s Steve Milo believes damaged vehicles are repaired, guaranteed and resold and that he was caught selling two of them.

Vehicle Imports Direct no longer operates from the Hamilton yard where the paraphernalia was sold, but Milo has now returned the $38,000 owed to Jeremy [Russell] Jane and covers the cost of repairing a ute bought by Jay Keophila.

They each said they had suffered significant losses in recent weeks and, following Open Justice reporting last week, confirmed they had now been compensated.

Milo now suggests the problem could be bigger.

“I believe there are more paraphernalia out there that were not sold by me, but I believe there are more out there that are in the same unfortunate situation that Mr. Jane and Jay were in. “

Jane paid $38,000 for the “nearly new” Toyota Hilux, which he drove for nearly 18 months before discovering it was built from parts from many other vehicles, including a stolen engine.

He said he was “very happy” to get his money back, although it looked like it was gone forever.

Keophila paid $45,000 for his 2018 Toyota Hilux three years ago, only to later find out it was in a serious accident and had been poorly repaired, revealing numerous defects.

He said he was glad the faults were now being repaired by Milo, as ordered in a decision by the Motor Vehicles Disputes Tribunal, although it appeared he would have to foot the bill himself.

Everyone was made aware of the problem with their vehicles through a letter from the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, which was given a red flag when they realized the vehicles had been in an accident and needed extensive repairs as a result.

Jay Keophila says he's glad to have covered repairs on his $45,000 Toyota Hilux, which he didn't realize had been badly damaged in an accident.  Photo / Facebook
Jay Keophila says he’s glad to have covered repairs on his $45,000 Toyota Hilux, which he didn’t realize had been badly damaged in an accident. Photo / Facebook

The vehicle Jane bought was so bad it posed a “serious safety hazard,” so Waka Kotahi revoked his guarantee of suitability and immediately put a safety flag on it.

Milo initially declined to comment, saying the matter was in the hands of the police.

He believes vehicles that are damaged but not written off will find their way onto the market.

“The number plates and tags are still active in the system and what allows someone to buy from an auction house or private seller, fix it and because the number plates are still active all they have to do is issue a search warrant on it and they’re good to go .”

Milo said had he known the history of the vehicles he was selling and the extent of the damage – which was determined not through a visual inspection but only through a detailed investigation, he would never have agreed to sell on behalf of another dealer.

He said the two faulty Utes were sold on behalf of a company identified in the court decisions as ALM Group — the same Waikato company that was asked in February this year to buy a $41,000 Ford Ranger who also had his arrest warrant revoked.

The company is not the same as another Hamilton company, also known as the ALM Group [Auto Leisure and Marine Group] which sells RVs, caravans and boats.

The Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal, in its February 15 decision, found that Waka Kotahi revoked the roadworthiness of the Ford Ranger sold by ALM Group due to poorly repaired pre-existing crash damage.

ALM Group’s evidence was that it had purchased the vehicle knowing it was damaged but not knowing it had been poorly repaired.

The company paid $9,000 for the repairs, and the vehicle underwent a roadworthiness test before it was sold.

ALM Group Ltd is described by OpenCorporates as an auto electric services company of which Andre Helm is a director.

Helm told Open Justice that much as he would like to comment, he cannot do so until further proceedings are complete. He declined to comment on the nature of the process.

Milo said he was considering pursuing the matter with ALM Group, which he referred to in a previous court hearing as potentially liable for the losses he suffered from the sale of the two Hilux-Utes.

The court eventually found that Vehicle Imports Direct was the supplier because it was transferring ownership of the vehicle to the buyer under a contract of sale.

Milo said he suffered significant financial damage from what happened, but it was important that he “did what was wrong right.”

He confirmed that while his company was no longer present at the premises from which he sold the two paraphernalia, the company was not in liquidation and he had not closed the shop.

However, he was undecided about reviving it elsewhere in the future.

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