Proton LogoProton has come out to defend itself against allegations that the Proton Perdana V6 is too expensive to maintain to the point that the Terengganu state government decided to replace their 4-year old Proton Perdana V6 Executive cars with a fleet of 14 brand new Mercedes-Benz E200K cars.

Proton says a regular periodical service plus oil filter for the Perdana V6 typically costs around RM200, excluding any other incidental spare part costs. With proper care, original parts and good driving habits, there should not be any major problems with the Perdana V6’s gearbox, and that the recommended service schedule for the Perdana V6 is every 5,000km or every 3 months of usage, whichever comes first.

The big shocker is this: after digging through records, Proton found that there have never been any warranty claims made by the Terengganu state government since October 2004 for one of the cars that supposedly racked up over RM100,000 in repairs. The car was purchased in May 2004. In a previous story the state government claimed two of their Perdana V6 Executive cars incurred repair costs of RM175,229.97 and RM132,357.76 respectively since 2004.

When contacted, a Proton official mentioned that the Perdana V6 comes with a 2 year warranty. Who was maintaining and repairing these cars? Why didn’t the fleet manager claim warranty on defective parts from Proton? The answer could be one of two things:

a) the incidents which incurred repair costs only happened in the car’s third year of service onwards after the 2 year warranty period so no warranty claim could be made
b) this is another case of bocor.

Proton added that it would be seriously looking into this matter and will be contacting the Terengganu State Government to find out service history records for the affected cars and provide necessary assistance.

UPDATE: The DPM said government cars has to be national cars. The Terengganu state government justified its E200K purchase by saying Paragraph 6 (II) of the Treasury Circular No. 1 of 2008 allowed government cars that were national cars or locally assembled cars, and the E200Ks purchased are locally assembled models sourced from Mercedes-Benz Malaysia’s Pekan plant. Datuk Shahrir Samad commented on this, saying that the state government misunderstood the circular. The provision for the purchase of locally assembled cars instead of national cars was only for purchases of 4WD vehicles if necessary as Proton did not offer such vehicles in its model line-up.

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