SINGAPORE - Spring Singapore will be taking legal action against automotive retailer SG Vehicles for engaging in unfair practices, including misleading claims, false claims and defective goods.
It will apply for a declaration and/or an injunction with the High Court against the company on Tuesday (Dec 19).
Spring Singapore said in a media release on Monday that SG Vehicles will have to cease the unfair practices and comply with accompanying orders if the declaration and/or injunction is granted.
A person or company that breaches an injunction can be jailed, fined or both.
This is the first time it is taking legal action under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act.
A thorough investigation of complaints by consumers against the company was conducted before the decision was made, said Spring Singapore.
The matter was referred to Spring Singapore by the Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) after SG Vehicles did not sign a Voluntary Compliance Agreement to stop its unfair practices in July.
Spring Singapore said the complaints, made to Case, were related to "representations of the terms and conditions of the sale agreement which could have potentially misled the complainants".
There were 39 complaints against SG Vehicles last year, up from 36 in 2015. There were 17 complaints between January and November this year.
The Straits Times reported in July that common complaints were about late delivery of vehicles, persistently unsuccessful bidding for certificates of entitlement and buyers being told to pay more for their cars after a sales agreement had been signed.
SG Vehicles, a parallel importer of cars, was first black marked by Case in December 2015 and placed under its Company Alert list.
It was black marked again in June this year after complaints continued to be lodged against the company, despite efforts by Case to resolve the complaints with SG Vehicles through negotiation and mediation.
The company, which operates out of Bukit Merah, was started in 1984 and is run by a married couple, Mark and Juliet Poh.
The company also operated under names such as SG Vehicles Asia, SG Vehicles Continental and SG Vehicles Global.
"Notwithstanding the upcoming legal proceedings, SG Vehicles must continue to honour sales agreements made with their customers," said Spring Singapore.
Consumers can contact Case for assistance through its hotline 6100 0315, or website www.case.org.sg