(PRWEB) April 24, 2014
Disgruntled consumers from across the globe have come together via online communities to criticise one of the world’s largest car manufacturers following the high profile recall of one of its most iconic brands.
The GT3 Worldwide Action Group was formed through web forums following increasing frustration by Porsche 911 GT3 customers in countries around the world months after the manufacturer, owned by German automotive giant VW AG, told owners to stop using their vehicles and that it would replace the engines as reported 20-Feb-14 on Porsche.com (http://press.porsche.com/news/release.php?id=848) in all the latest models after news of the cars catching fire was reported 18-Feb-14 on Reuters (http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/02/18/porsche-fire-idINL6N0LN2U820140218).
The Group, which has a collective value of cars worth in excess of US$19m and rising, currently includes members from the UK, Canada, Switzerland, Sweden, France, Monaco, UAE, China and Germany but with more than half coming from the USA, Porsche's largest market.
In February, Porsche advised owners of the new GT3 to stop driving their cars while it conducted its investigations as reported 20-Feb-14 on Porsche.com (http://press.porsche.com/news/release.php?id=848). With limited updates since then, through the sharing of information amongst its members, the Group feels that VW AG is discriminating against consumers based on their location.
Reports suggest the manufacturer is paying $2,000 per month compensation to US customers, with two and three times that amount in UAE and its home market Germany respectively despite no mention of compensation to customers in the UK, as reported by the Telegraph on 23-Apr-14 (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/car-manufacturers/porsche/10782372/Disgruntled-Porsche-GT3-owners-demand-compensation.html).
Mark Qandil, an engineer and businessman from Portland Oregon, said: “As a longstanding customer of the brand, I’m disappointed at the lack of communication and information we’ve had. I've been offered US$2,000 compensation per month while my car is undriveable but I'm more concerned that Porsche acts fairly and treats everyone equally. Having seen written confirmation that the Company has offered twice that figure to its UAE customers, it's no surprise that some customers feel less valued than others. It's simply not right."
Businessman Mr Sunil Mehra, a customer of 25 years, founded the GT3 Worldwide Action Group and has been working with people from all over the world to help the consumers. He said: “We live in a digital era where the internet has empowered consumers beyond borders. In the space of just a few days, over a hundred people, who were previously strangers to each other, have come together from several continents to support each other as a result of their overall dissatisfaction with the way they're being treated.
“The lack of information and consistency from the manufacturer has caused much frustration amongst our group members. Furthermore, we have no indications as to when the cars will be fixed.
“As ambassadors for the Porsche brand, we are disappointed by the way the manufacturer has conducted itself with its lack of transparency and apparent discrimination between markets. It's not about money but the principle of simply respecting consumer rights and treating people equally and fairly, irrespective of where they are.
“We have written to and asked that the manufacturer communicates with customers in a regular, consistent manner and put an end to this issue by harmonising its treatment of those customers across its global market.”
Support has also now come from European Parliamentary Member Martin Callanan, the North East Conservative MEP. He said: "I'm grateful to Mr. Mehra for bringing this to my attention. It is an unusual issue and one that clearly affects many people across the world.
“Fairness crosses international borders and I am quite sure that big brands understand the importance of maintaining consumer confidence, so I am confident that a satisfactory resolution can be found. I will be looking into this issue further and keeping a close eye on the situation."
Similar treatment by Porsche Cars in North America prompted dissatisfied customer Nick Murray to share his plight by publishing videos of his experience on the internet as seen on AutoBlog 18-April-14 (http://www.autoblog.com/2014/04/18/nick-murray-problematic-porsche-911-viral-video/). The latest video was picked up by social media and became viral which made him a YouTube sensation over night.