A YouTube channel owner in Vietnam in the last days of April posted many videos listing errors on a VinFast car, but billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong’s car company denied and accused the owner of giving false information.
The case was causing a stir in the Vietnamese public when Reuters reported that VinFast was building a sales team in the US to start operations next year, 2022.
According to VOA’s research, from April 20 to April 28, Mr. Tran Van Hoang, the owner of a YouTube channel called GoGo TV with more than 450,000 followers, continuously posted clips in which he raised 10 issues on one unit VinFast Lux A2.0 that he owns.
In a clip longer than 29 minutes, Mr. Hoang said that the happy days after he bought a car lasted only 2 weeks, followed by “tiring days“:
“Up to now, I have run 8,000 km, I have to repair or go for warranty 10 times… The first error is the fault of the tire pressure sensor on the 4 wheels … The second error is that the wiper automatically wiped when I was on. The device is on and all the function keys on the steering wheel are disabled … The third error is about wireless charging in the car … The wireless charging function is considered abandoned. The fourth error is the cruise control function, cruise control, sometimes you can use it, sometimes you can’t … ”
A series of other errors that Mr. Hoang raised in the same video included strange noises in the four doors and the brake pedal; occasional warning lights appear to check the gearbox and engine; fuel tank cap does not close tightly; and noises in the wind entering the vehicle make noise due to problems with the doors.
In response, on May 2, the official Facebook page of VinFast said that Mr. Hoang had published untrue information about the quality of VinFast Lux A2.0 cars, causing confusion for users and affecting the prestige of the company.
VinFast Vietnam page added that although Mr. Hoang had removed the related clips himself, the company saved all evidence and reported it to the police. “The Public Security Department has received the denunciation and has a schedule to invite Mr. Hoang to work,” said billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong’s car company.
While asserting that VinFast always listens and is ready to check and handle all problems for customers during use, the Vietnamese car company also emphasized on its Facebook page that they are determined to clarify the acts which they call false and harmful for its brand.
On social networks, many people shared screenshots of a post on GoGo TV by Mr. Tran Van Hoang, in which he wrote that “I may be sued and the matter is very serious … Right now I have to sign a document that doesn’t go as I expected.” Mr. Hoang also suggested everyone help by giving him a quick call to the lawyer’s phone number.
VOA contacted Mr. Hoang to find out if he was under pressure from VinFast and how the two sides were solving the case, but Mr. Hoang simply said:
“Right now, I don’t want to work with media. Let me work on the issue to be clear, I have a direction and then I will work with the press later. Currently, I want to handle it separately with Vin, after all, I do this with the media.”
Following public opinion on social networks, VOA found that influential Facebookers such as Nguyen Dinh Bon, Phuong Ngo, and forums with a large number of members such as Press Perspective – Citizens all criticized the behavior of VinFast after Mr. Tran Van Hoang published the videos.
Critics say that if the car actually breaks down and the consumer points out the mistakes, the company must make a warranty and apologize to the consumer. Conversely, if consumers slandered or fabricated, the company can completely sue in court.
In the view of the critics, the fact that the company asked the police about Mr. Hoang to let the state forces work with him was considered a “cowardly” or “too trivial” way of handling.
A Facebooker named Thien Nguyen said that VinFast’s way of intimidating consumers with a superior attitude is a bad thing.
Meanwhile, Facebooker Quach Manh Hao, a lecturer in banking and finance at Lincoln University, UK, said as an analyst that VinFast seems to be making the wrong move when denouncing the police about vehicle owners posting videos of vehicle quality assessment.
“In Vietnam, this is a trivial matter because small consumers are rarely protected. But the West is not small – the whole system operates on the principle of consumer protection first … The problem is that Vinfast wants an IPO [initial public offer of shares] in the West, so the IPO is likely to be affected. The valuation of $50 billion is already too high for the car manufacturing industry, with this ethical issue just an English article reporting the incident on forums like Reddit. It will be a disaster for VinFast“, Mr. Hao wrote on his personal page.
Reuters reported on April 30 that VinFast is making a big bet on business in North America and Europe from 2022 and that the company’s CEO, Nguyen Thi Van Anh, will travel to the US in May to prepare for this plan. Currently, there are 100 people working for VinFast in the US, according to Reuters.
The case of car owner Tran Van Hoang which is causing a public stir now is another unfavorable information for VinFast when it was not long ago that VinFast had to deal with the social networking case and the media reported a series of its vehicles lost their wheels and broken cranes in different localities in Vietnam in February.
At that time, some auto experts have reassured public opinion that the wheel loss and breakage incident is caused by a collision between the vehicle and obstructions, not due to a problem with the material or the assembly process. But on social networks, there are still many people expressing doubts. Before that, there were a few cases of VinFast car fires or the car stopped in the middle of the road, and had to be taken by rescue, which also caused noise on social networks.
Last year, billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong’s car company sold 30,000 cars, thereby winning the position as the 5th largest car company in Vietnam.