Have you seen the viral story of the Proton X50 that was involved in a total loss accident, driven by the sales advisor?

If you haven’t, here’s the deal. The ill-fated red X50 was being delivered to a customer in Johor Bahru from a dealership in KL, when the sales advisor (SA) – allegedly driving at 180 km/h – crashed on the highway and ended up off the road. The SA survived the crash, but the X50 suffered bad damage and will have to be written off. As you can see from the pics, there’s roof damage, which means the car probably flipped.

We reached out to Proton, and here’s what the carmaker has to say. “Proton is firstly thankful that nobody was injured in the accident. We do however view the matter seriously and a thorough investigation will be done regarding the actions taken by the sales advisor and dealer. Action will be taken should it be discovered there was a breach in Proton’s delivery procedures,” the statement read.

KL to JB, that’s quite a long distance delivery, no? Apparently, the JB customer purchased the car through an agent who’s an ex-Proton SA. As she’s not a Proton staff, the delivery had to be done by a current SA, the driver who got into the accident. This was revealed by the furious agent, who also shared the pics you see here on Facebook, urging people to “share the news”.

This is an incredibly unfortunate incident for all parties concerned, and it came about through very unique circumstances.

When buying a new car, we would always recommend buying directly from an authorised dealership that’s close to your home, and not from one that’s in a different state. That would avoid any need for the car to be driven or transported to you, cutting off any delivery-related risks. It’s best to take delivery directly at the showroom yourself too; this way, you can have a final inspection before signing the necessary documents.

In this case, even if the X50 arrived safely to its owner, it would have racked up a few hundred km of mileage, and a few hours of possibly hard driving at high speeds. Most new cars have a recommended running in period where you need to drive it gently for the first 1,000 km or so – this is listed in the X50’s owner’s manual. It’s not guaranteed that the SA doing the delivery would be so careful, so it’s best to bed in your new car yourself. Hard driving by the delivery driver might cause problems down the line.

Another piece of good advice from the carmakers: avoid using agents and purchase directly from authorised SAs and dealerships. The same goes for when you need to make payments – do not transfer money to personal bank accounts. All payments must only be made to company accounts. Proton has in the past warned of scams and conmen, and Perodua did the same yesterday with regards to the new Ativa.

Also, all official sales personnel receive product training from the carmakers; they are supposed to give you a full briefing on the cars features and functions. Agents may not have gone through this training, and may even give wrong information.

Since we don’t buy cars every other month, it’s no big loss in going through the whole “hassle” of the experience. View, test and buy from an official dealership. When the time comes for you to take delivery, personally experience the “guided tour” by the SA and drive it home yourself – it’s a privilege. If the car needs to be transported, insist on a flatbed carrier. A car is a big ticket item, better to be safe than sorry.