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If a car company files for bankruptcy and reorganization, car owners will only suffer “dumb losses”?

If a car company files for bankruptcy and reorganization, car owners will only suffer “dumb losses”?

The 4S shop has no parts, there is no place to repair the fault, and the car engine was temporarily shut down… In recent days, perhaps no one is more upset than the car owners of Weima. The company filed for bankruptcy and reorganization, but the car owners suffered. Who should they talk to for reasoning?

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  WM Motor files for bankruptcy and reorganization, leaving car owners dumbfounded

According to information from the National Enterprise Bankruptcy and Reorganization Case Information Network, WM Motor Technology Group Co., Ltd. has applied for bankruptcy and reorganization. The handling court is the Shanghai No. 3 Intermediate People’s Court, and the public case number is (2023) Shanghai 03 Poshen No. 1062.

In response to the above information, WM Motor’s official Weibo issued a “notification letter” in response, saying that the company still has salvage value and hopes to actively save itself by adjusting corporate strategies, solving financial debt problems, and obtaining investors to participate in restructuring and development. In addition, the Shanghai No. 3 Intermediate People’s Court accepted Weimar’s pre-reorganization application on October 7.

The company’s filing for bankruptcy and reorganization directly affected Weimar owners.

The car owner Liu Ze (pseudonym) revealed in an interview with Sino-Singapore Finance that his WM EX5 was purchased in 2020. Although it has only been driven for three years, it has never been a worry. “The 4S store has no parts and there is no place to repair the fault. After the car company declared bankruptcy and reorganization, the network function was temporarily shut down.”

A row of fault lights came on on the dashboard. Photo provided by interviewee.

In addition, according to feedback from many WM owners, since the beginning of 2023, WM supporting software has frequently experienced failures such as “unable to connect, network abnormality” and so on. At the beginning of the year, a car owner left a message at the WM customer service office saying, “Just two days after the recovery, ‘WM Zhixing’ became invalid again and cannot be used.” Previously, WM customer service had used hacker attacks, server updates, version upgrades, etc. Reasons to explain the above failure.

An engineer engaged in car and machine research and development told reporters that unlike traditional car companies, the intelligent functions featured in some “new car-making forces” models are not integrated locally. “For example, voice recognition, remote control, etc. all need to rely on cloud services. Once the server is shut down, the corresponding Internet services will disappear.”

However, on the 13th, WM Motor’s official Weibo responded, “Currently, WM Motor’s engine system has returned to normal, and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to everyone!”

Liu Ze said that the functions of his car and machine have been temporarily restored.

On the 13th, Liu Ze’s Weimai machine function has been temporarily restored. Photo provided by interviewee.

  The biggest trouble: lack of parts and nowhere to maintain

“Although the car and engine have been temporarily restored, the real trouble is the lack of spare parts and the lack of place for maintenance.” Talking about his Weimar EX5, Liu Ze admitted frankly that whether the car and engine can be used actually has a limited impact on him. .

“This year I only bought compulsory traffic insurance. It’s not because the insurance company doesn’t provide commercial insurance, but the commercial insurance is useless, and the 4S shop doesn’t have any parts! I drive more carefully now and don’t dare to bump into it. I can’t find parts anywhere. , the car was trembling as it got closer, for fear of being damaged.” He said helplessly.

In response to the situation reported by the car owner, the reporter called WM customer service number many times, but was unable to get through, and has not yet received a reply from WM.

For discontinued or niche models, it is also a consensus in the industry that the supply of spare parts is not timely and the maintenance cycle is long. A maintenance technician from a car chain maintenance brand told China News Finance, “For large-selling cars, parts can be transferred from nearby warehouses in as fast as 30 minutes. For some discontinued models, a single part may not be found for several months. There will be.”

After learning that the WM EX5 has been discontinued, Liu Ze said that he now dare not expect to fully maintain the car. You can only go to a third-party repair shop to simply fix it. Just can barely drive it. Once it breaks down and parts can’t be found, it may be completely dead.

Data shows that from 2020 to 2022, WM’s annual sales will be 22,500 vehicles, 44,100 vehicles and 29,400 vehicles respectively. This means that nearly 100,000 car owners like Liu Ze also face the problem of difficult repairs and maintenance. As WM Motor files for bankruptcy and reorganization, it may be difficult to find a solution to the above problems in the short term.

Screenshot of WM Motor’s “Notification Letter”.

  Lawyer: Weimar is still qualified to bear civil liability

Looking at his Weimar EX5, Liu Ze’s biggest wish is that someone can take over. “I have visited several second-hand car dealers before, and the cars were less than three years old at the time. New energy vehicles are not easy to sell. I heard that they were WM Motors, but no one from these second-hand car dealers dared to accept them.”

Although WM Motor emphasized in the “Notification Letter” that it hopes to actively save itself by adjusting corporate strategies, solving financial debt problems, and obtaining investors to participate in restructuring and development. However, for car owners, the most pressing question right now is who will be responsible for a series of issues such as car maintenance in the future?

Yan Bing, a senior partner at Jiuhe Law Firm, told Sino-Singapore Finance that although Weimar has applied for bankruptcy reorganization, it does not mean that the company has gone bankrupt. Regardless of whether it is in bankruptcy proceedings or entering reorganization proceedings, “Weima” is still alive as a civil subject and is still legally qualified to bear civil liability.

Yan Bing said that the automobile industry has long established general rules. After an automobile product is discontinued, its parts should be supplied for no less than ten years. There are also corresponding provisions in the automobile three guarantees to clarify this. The problem of missing spare parts is actually similar to the legal consequences of being unable to use the functions of a car. The subject of legal responsibility is still WM Motor.

However, he also pointed out that companies on the verge of bankruptcy may be objectively unable to fulfill their responsibilities. Therefore, in fact, if WM cannot continue to supply accessories, consumers will have to pay for the final losses. This is also the inevitable pain that “new car-making forces” will face when they re-integrate the market from mushrooming to survival of the fittest.

“The current situation of this brand is that it cannot be sold second-hand. I don’t know what to do in the future.” Liu Ze said.

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