A Tokoroa man owed thousands of dollars from a used car dealer is pleading for the salesman to refund him.
“He needs to man up – the court’s made an order… it’s caused us a lot of stress. We can’t sleep at night. He’s the one that’s been nasty and it needs to be put right."
Paul Tweedie and his family are the car dealers behind the Spot One car company.
It was banned from trading in February following a Fair Go investigation in 2018.
The yard is now called Car Wholesale but the Tweedies are still on the lot, and still selling cars.
In 2017 Steven Lochore purchased an Isuzu Mu from Spot One, but almost immediately it was obvious the car had problems – despite just being issued a new, 12 month warrant of fitness.
“You’d back it out and it would shake. The car would shake all the time when you put your foot on the accelerator,” says Steven.
He took the car to a repair agent, who diagnosed a leaking exhaust system – but that wasn’t the end of the problems.
A second trip to a mechanic resulted in even worse news – the car needed a new transmission, at a cost of more than $5,000.
Steven had only paid $2990 for the car.
“[I was] shocked. If you get a brand new warrant… you’re safe. The car’s reliable, it’s safe to be driven on the road,” he said.
Steven went back to Spot One asking them to fix the car, but Paul Tweedie refused.
“He said ‘no, I’m not prepared to do anything’. He just got abusive on the phone."
Paul’s mother Tina Tweedie also refused to rectify the issues when contacted by Steven’s financial lender, who had given him the money for the car.
Steven took a case to the Disputes Tribunal and won a full refund, plus the cost of repairs he’d paid for. But eight months on from that decision, he’s yet to see any money.
“We’ve tried everything to get it resolved and we’ve got nowhere,” he says.
If that sounds familiar, it is.
In 2018 Fair Go featured the story of Becky Mildren, another Spot One customer who was ordered a refund by the Motor Vehicle Disputes Tribunal – but couldn’t get the Tweedies to pay up.
“Nobody should have to fight this hard for their rights,” Ms Mildren told Fair Go, as she tried to get back the $11,000 she was owed.
Spot One did pay her back, after Fair Go got involved, but this time the Tweedies have gone to ground.
Paul Tweedie’s brother Shane – a shareholder of Spot One – ordered Fair Go off the car yard, and police were called after Fair Go visited Paul Tweedie’s home address for a response.
When Steven purchased the car, Paul Tweedie was a director of Spot One, but has since become a shareholder only. His mother Tina Tweedie is the sole director.
Spot One has filed for leave to appeal the decision – despite being months past the date allowed – claiming a defect in the Disputes Tribunal process.
Steven Lochore reckons it’s just another delaying tactic.
“I’d just like to get this resolved. He’s playing with us”.