Timely caution about vehicles in Samoa

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Mata'afa Keni Lesa

An uninformed population will always be vulnerable to being preyed upon. 

Indeed the lack of knowledge about issues mean people become sitting ducks to schemes run by bad people who know how to extract blood from their unsuspecting victims. 

Folks, some of them come in sheep’s clothing. They are merciless.

Speaking of which, a story titled “Corrupt practice in vehicle industry” published in the Samoa Observer on Wednesday this week is worth paying attention to.

We say this because ignorance and being uninformed will not spare our people from the headaches and heartaches of being taken for a ride.

When it comes to the car industry, many people live to tell terrible stories of how they were fooled into buying suspect vehicles. Which is why the call on the government to review the standard and quality of second hand cars being imported is an important one.

The alarm bells were sounded by elderly resident, Paulo, who believes the issue is so serious the government should “wake up immediately.” He also urged Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi to look into “corrupt practices” involved with the sale of used cars. 

As we pause for a wee breather this weekend, we believe Paulo’s views are worth revisiting.

 “I found out that for some car dealers in Samoa don’t have ownership papers for the cars they are selling,” he said. 

“As you know, ownership papers are very important as they provide you with information about the car and the history of the cars. It gives you information such as the mileage and others. However, I was shocked when I found out that for some of these cars, they don’t have ownership papers. 

Paulo said many people don’t understand this.

 “This is why I want to raise this issue in your newspaper. I think people deserve to know what’s happening and the government should be alarmed.

 “The thing is, most of our people are not familiar with buying and selling of cars. They are not aware of these things. They only look at the appearance of the car but they don’t really ask for these things because they are not aware of it. 

“Especially our people from the rural areas, most of them are not aware that the prices of the cars are also negotiable.”

He went on to say that the other main problem is that most of the cars being imported Samoa are front rear drives. He believes that these types of cars are not suitable for the roads and environment in Samoa. 

“I think only 1/3 of the cars being imported into Samoa are rear wheel drives, but the rest are front rear drives. 

“These are not suitable for the conditions of the roads and environment in Samoa. 

“The other thing is, if we look at some of the engines of the cars imported to Samoa, some of these cars only have 1.5cc engines. That’s why these cars don’t last longer than one or two years in Samoa.” 

Paulo reiterated that his main concern is that most people are not aware of this problem; therefore they suffer later on trying to fix the broken parts of the cars they bought. 

He said the government should have a specific standard for the cars to be imported into Samoa. 

“They should have a standard for the cars suitable to our roads and environment. In that way, we can only bring in good quality cars for our people. 

“As you can see, we now have heaps of cars in Samoa. But most of these cars don’t last. The quality of the cars being imported is not good. And what’s worse is that our people don’t even know this. They just look at the appearance of the cars and then go straight and buy it. 

“This is something the government should look at very careful. 

“But then again, they (government) wouldn’t understand where I am coming from because they are driving around in cars from tax payer’s money. 

“They (government) only care about the tax and fees, and they don’t pay for the cars they use. Only people like you and me can understand this.”

Paulo said the government should review and look at this very careful so that Samoa wouldn’t be a place to dump used cars from other countries. 

Well we couldn’t agree more with Paulo.

It’s an important issue that should not be ignored and swept under the carpet.

But then that’s what we think anyway. What about you? Do you share the same concerns about vehicles being brought to Samoa? Write and share your thoughts with us.

In the meantime, have a restful weekend Samoa, God bless!

© Samoa Observer 2016

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