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General News of Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Source: cameroon-tribune.cm

Mechanic Workshops: Inconveniences of abandon vehicles


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Tension between owners and mechanics sometimes leads to imprisonment or impoundment.

A vehicle is considered abandoned if the owner is nowhere to be found within the period of two weeks. It is common to notice at least two abandon vehicles in each mechanic workshop in the port city of Douala.

The abandoned vehicles overcrowd the workshop which obliges mechanics to extend workshop to the road or encroach in neighbour’s land in order to have enough space to work. Vehicles abandoned for more than five years act as a gymnasium for rat moles and snakes while others act as nurseries for trees and hideout for thieves.

According to a workshop owner, Robert Tatchi, 90 per cent of abandoned vehicles are as a result of financial difficulties while a minute part of it is blamed on the scarcity of motor spare parts and owner’s death. To him, abandoned vehicles are a source of conflict between owners and mechanics.

Since the vehicles depreciate with time, owners capitalise on the first diagnoses carried out long ago in a bid to deceive mechanics by saying “my vehicle did not have such problem when I brought it into your workshop”.

Others abandon their vehicles intentionally and when they notice a part is missing from it, they come in not only to threaten the mechanic, but also to force him to replace the missing parts or be placed under police detention.

Though there are norms in the sector, application is pending. For example, vehicles that have spent more than two weeks in a workshop without any sign of the owners are suppose to be impounded by the city council.

Instead, it is after a long period of time that some workshop owners invite the city council for impoundment after failing to agree with the vehicle owner amicably. Though vehicle owners are generally blamed, some mechanics are dubious. They sometimes repair abandon vehicles and sell without owner’s approval.

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