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《环球时报(英文版)》两度采访李伟民律师,谈西安奔驰

2019年4月12日及14日,伟博律所执行主任李伟民律师两度接受《环球时报(英文版)》的采访,对西安奔驰维权事件发表意见。采访文章刊登在《Global Times》2019年4月13日第4版,《Global Times Business》2019年4月15日第2版。
 

以下为采访文章的转载,并附李伟民主任观点译文。
 
Mercedes Benz shop faces probe for oil leak
 
A Chinese legal expert criticized a Mercedes Benz 4S dealership in Northwest China for selling a car that started to leak oil before the buyer drove it out of the shop.
 
Market regulators in Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, told thepaper.cn on Friday that they had started investigations after reading media reports about the incident.
 
The dealership, Lizhixing, told thepaper.cn late Thursday through email that they had reached an agreement with the buyer but refused to release any detail, nor did they explain why the car leaked oil.
 
A video on social media that went viral on Thursday shows a woman sitting on top of a Mercedes Benz, complaining that she bought the car for 660,000 yuan ($98,213) - and made a down payment of 200,000 yuan - 15 days earlier but the car started to leak oil even before she drove it out of the 4S dealership.
 
She then left the car in the shop for 15 days. "I gave you [Lizhixing] 15 days, but you only told me you would change the engine. I am not satisfied with the work," she said.
 
The dealership offered "three guarantees" after-sales service to the buyer, according to the video. 
 
However, Li Weimin, associate director of the rights and interests of consumers committee at the Beijing Lawyers Association, pointed out that the service could not apply here as the buyer did not even start using the car, which means the car itself failed to reach sales standards.
 
然而,北京律师协会消费者权益法律专业委员会副主任李伟民指出,消费者未开始使用车辆,这意味着车辆本身未达到销售标准,不适用‘三包’规定。
 
"Under this circumstance, the shop should not only refund the buyer but also compensate her with thrice the price," Li explained to the Global Times on Friday.
 
李伟民副主任周五向《环球时报》解释称:“在这种情况下,商家不仅退款,还应进行三倍赔偿。”
 
He said that the dealership was cheating consumers if it really sold the car while knowing it had problems. The incident would damage the brand's reputation and Chinese consumers' trust in it, Li noted.
 
他指出,如果经销商明知车辆存在质量问题,仍实际出售车辆,说明经销商欺骗了消费者。此次事件将损害奔驰的品牌信誉和中国消费者的信任。
 
Benz failed to respond to the Global Times over the incident as of press time.
 
Some netizens showed appreciation for the buyer's way of safeguarding her rights, saying that merchants have to pay the price for their behavior.
 
Many lamented that they felt helpless seeing an educated person have to act "shamelessly" to safeguard her rights.
 
 
 
Regulator probes Mercedes-Benz dealership
 
 
A dispute between a Mercedes-Benz 4S dealership and a local customer in Xi'an, capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi Province over a faulty new car that leaked oil is intensifying.
 
A local market regulator has launched an investigation into the dispute, and Lizhixing, the Mercedes-Benz 4S dealership involved, was asked by the regulator to give a refund to the buyer as soon as possible. 
 
The 4S dealership apologized to the buyer during a face-to-face meeting on Saturday, saying it would issue the refund immediately, but the buyer refused to accept the refund, according to a statement posted on the official Sina Weibo account called "Xi'an Release" on Sunday.
 
The customer also demanded further explanation about whether 15,200 yuan ($2,267) charged by the dealership for a "Benz financial service fee" was fraud, as the dealer had not provided any services.
 
Mercedes-Benz said late Sunday that it has "openly and repeatedly" requested its dealers to be honest and law-abiding in the process of their independent operation to ensure the legitimate rights and interests of consumers, according to Central China Television.
 
The meeting was arranged by local market regulators after a clip went viral on Thursday showing the customer complaining about her unpleasant experience buying a car that started leaking oil even before she drove it out of the dealership.
 
The woman, sitting on top of the car and sobbing, said that she had bought it for 660,000 yuan with a down payment of 200,000 yuan. She complained that after the leak was reported to the dealer, her complaint was ignored for 15 days, according to the clip.
 
"I gave you [the dealer] 15 days, but you only told me you would change the engine. I am not satisfied with the work," the customer said in the clip on Tuesday.
 
The woman's complaints about consumer rights received sympathy from some netizens. Many lamented that they felt helpless when seeing an educated person forced to lose her temper to safeguard her rights.
 
"It's sad to see an educated middle-class woman has to sit on a car crying to guard her consumer rights," a netizen named Chongqingtuotuoge posted on Sina Weibo on Sunday.
 
As the tussle fermented, another customer in Zhengzhou, Central China's Henan Province complained that the electric power steering system of a Mercedes-Benz vehicle she bought in a local 4S dealership had failed during a ride within 24 hours after purchase, saying "Do I have to sit on my car?" thepaper.cn reported on Sunday.
 
The background of the dealership has also drawn public attention. According to Huxiu, a Chinese business media publication, the legal representative of Xi'an Lizhixing Automobile Co is Yan Jiansheng, who is also a director of Mercedes-Benz (China) Automotive Sales Co.
 
Yan, also a Datuk in Malaysia, is legal representative for as many as 129 companies that are related to Lizhixing. Among these, an automobile sales company in Wuhu, East China's Anhui Province has links to Chinese actress Zhao Wei, said the Huxiu report on Sunday.
 
Xi'an Lizhixing Automobile Co was involved in 22 lawsuits from 2015 to March 2019, according to business research platform tianyancha.com.
 
Mercedes-Benz apologized to the customer Saturday, saying a special work group will head to Xi'an to investigate and work out a solution as soon as possible.
 
The German car manufacturer said it deeply regrets the buyer's unpleasant experience. "Ensuring consumers' legal rights and interests is always our first priority and is a principle all our dealerships should adhere to," the company said.
 
There are at least two fraudulent acts in Lizhixing's sales practices based on the disclosed facts, Li Weimin, associate director of the rights and interests of consumers committee at the Beijing Lawyers Association, told the Global Times on Sunday. 
 
北京律师协会消费者权益法律专业委员会副主任李伟民周日对《环球时报》表示,基于目前所披露的事实,西安利之星的销售至少存在两处欺诈行为。
 
"The dealership sold a car that started leaking oil before the customer drove it out of the dealership, which means they should compensate her with three times the full price," Li told the Global Times, citing China's Consumers Rights Law.
 
李伟民副主任依据《中华人民共和国消费者权益保护法》说道:“车辆未离开销售场所已经发生漏油,经销商销售这种车辆,应该按车辆全价进行三倍赔偿。”
 
"To charge a 'Benz financial service fee' without informing the customer is another obvious fraudulent act," Li said. "It should pay similar compensation in this instance, too."
 
李伟民副主任说:“在未通知消费者的情况下,经销商收取‘奔驰金融服务费’是另一个明显的欺诈行为,也应支付类似的赔偿金。”