Yangyel Lhaden

The Thimphu High Court said Kuenphen Motors has to give Nu 15,000 to five aggrieved MGZS taxi drivers. But, 35 NETA V taxi drivers must pay Nu 3,750 each to Kuenphen Motors.

Section 97 is on Costs of Litigation which states, It shall be at the discretion of the Appellate Court based on the outcome of a case to determine an appropriate assignment of costs and other expenses related to the suit.

According to the court’s decision, the NETA V operators have to pay the dealer within 10 days. Then, the dealer has a month to pay the MGZS taxi operators.

This new ruling cancels out the decision made by the Thimphu District Court on December 29. That earlier decision had let Kuenphen Motors off the hook from paying Nu 30,000 in compensation, which was ordered by the Competition and Consumers Affairs Authority (CCAA).

The dispute between the dealers and taxi operators started in May last year. Fifteen MG ZS taxi operators filed a complaint with the CCAA, saying that the MG ZS electric cars didn’t meet the promised mileage of 419km, as advertised in Kuenphen Motors’ catalog. They argued that they received the MG ZS Sri Lankan version instead of the MG ZS UK version that was advertised.

They asked for either a swap of the MG ZS EV Sri Lankan version with the MG ZS EV UK version or a refund that matches the value of the features and parts absent in the Sri Lankan version.

Likewise, 40 Neta V taxi operators filed a complaint against the dealer for providing a different variant of the Neta V electric vehicle—384km instead of the advertised 401km range—and for charging additional fees upon delivery, exceeding the pre-booking price, as reported to the CCAA.

Both the dealers and the taxi operators appealed the CCAA’s decision to the Thimphu District Court, and later to the High Court.

The High Court upheld the decision regarding the NETA V case. However, it directed the taxi operators to pay the dealer a national minimum wage for one month.

In the MGZS case, the court instructed Kuenphen Motors to compensate MGZS with Nu 15,000 for the absent parts in the vehicle. However, it’s important to note that there is no evidence supporting the claim that the vehicle was advertised as both the MGZS Sri Lankan and MGZS UK versions.

One NETA V operator expressed dissatisfaction with the High Court’s decision and plans to appeal to the Supreme Court, while the proprietor of Kuenphen Motors, Thukten, expressed satisfaction with the ruling.

Both the parties have 10 days to appeal to the higher court.