Pursuit Scoop! Big Motor is in even more trouble. Finally, a “Victims’ Association” is formed! | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Pursuit Scoop! Big Motor is in even more trouble. Finally, a “Victims’ Association” is formed!

Man who won the lawsuit makes an impassioned statement: "I want Kaneshige and his son to be compensated for their wrongful dismissal.

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The Tama branch moved its headquarters to a new location on October 1. Even as inventory continues to be released, used cars are lined up in a row on the store floor. As a flagship store, there was no end to the number of customers, even on weekdays.

Big Motor’s rapid growth has been based on a number of fraudulent activities. We will never allow them to get away with this without paying compensation.

Mr. A, the president of a pharmaceutical sales company in Gunma Prefecture, is in his 50s and expresses his outrage.

The battle over Big Motor’s fraud has entered a new phase, as a court ruling was finalized in October in the case that Mr. A filed against the company for falsely selling him a submerged car. The Ota Branch of the Maebashi District Court fully recognized Mr. A’s claim and ordered Big Motor to pay compensation of approximately 2.9 million yen, including the purchase price.

Although Mr. A has completed his own trial, he has already started working on behalf of other victims. He has already started working on behalf of other victims by establishing a “victims’ group,” which had not existed until now.

The name of the group is the “Association to Prosecute Big Motor’s Injustice. I have been forced to buy a car that was involved in an accident, had the purchase price unfairly reduced, and had repairs done that were not necessary. …… There must be a great number of victims all over Japan. Normally, I would like the Consumer Affairs Agency and others to take action, but they are not working. So I decided to do it myself.”

He plans to raise funds through crowdfunding, and the review process is already in its final stages. Operation is scheduled to begin in February of next year. He says he will provide support for lawsuits within the association so that they can receive appropriate compensation.

Most people are intimidated by the idea of litigation because they don’t know how to do it, and it is expensive and time-consuming,” he said. The first thing we are considering is to create a system that makes it easy to file a lawsuit with the Summary Court. We will create an application and a special format that will make it easy for anyone to create documents for filing.
We are also negotiating with lawyers and judicial scriveners, and we plan to build a system that will allow us to back up simple court cases with a fee of 20,000-30,000 yen and a contingency fee. Eventually, we would like to create a system that can help not only customers but also any victims of Big Motor, including former employees who were unfairly dismissed,” he said.

If realized, victims who have so far cried themselves to sleep may rise up en masse, and if a number of expensive lawsuits in the millions like Ms. A’s are filed, the amount of compensation paid by Big Motor will easily exceed a hundred million dollars.

Furthermore, Mr. A revealed that he intends to pursue the responsibility of the former president, Hiroyuki Kaneshige (72), and his son, Koichi (35), who was the vice president.

There will be no real closure to this issue until compensation is paid by Kaneshige and his son,” he said. They are the ones who pushed the employees to do the fraud, and in some cases, the vice president himself may have directly instructed them to do so. We believe the two must be held criminally responsible, not only civilly, but also for fraud.”

Selection of Support Source Reaches a Close

On October 24, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT) announced the suspension of business or revocation of designation as a private vehicle inspection facility for 34 factories nationwide, or one-fourth of all Big Motor factories. A current employee working at a branch in the Kanto area revealed.

Kaneshige and his son have left, and the profit-oriented approach has disappeared. Environmental maintenance inspections are no longer conducted. However, the uneasiness on the shop floor has not disappeared. Take salary, for example. It depends on the store and department, but in my case, my salary has been reduced by 5,000 to 10,000 yen every month. Some departments are compensating me, but I don’t know how long that will last.

In order to restructure the company, the headquarters is in the process of selecting a company to support the restructuring. The talks are now in their final stages, with Itochu Corporation, Sumitomo Corporation, and Sumitomo Mitsui Auto Service Co.

The head office is currently busy with the reorganization of its 250 stores nationwide, with plans to close or merge them with neighboring stores in Saitama, Aichi, and other prefectures by the end of October.
In addition to ORIX, which is said to be the most promising company, two other major used car sales companies and a foreign-affiliated mail-order company have emerged as serious candidates to support the company. The list has already been narrowed down to about five companies, and we are now in the final stages of the process,” said Kumiko Kato, an automotive journalist.

Mr. A stood up to pursue Big Motor’s responsibility. Her activities should be a source of hope for many victims.

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Since his press conference in July, former president Hiroyuki Kaneshige has not been seen in public. It is said that he is currently hiding in the country…
Mr. A has started to establish a “victims’ group. The initial cost is estimated at 2.5 million yen, and even if he has to make up the shortfall at his own expense, he will create a mechanism.

From the November 10 and 17, 2023 issue of FRIDAY

  • PHOTO Takero Yuzumi (Tama Branch), Shinji Hasuo (Mr. Hiroyuki Kaneshige)

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