Delta has said it wants the Isuzu bakkie owned by Jaco van der Merwe, the Pretoria man who has been displaying slogans on his vehicle denouncing the manufacturer, to be examined by an impartial arbitrator.

Delta has said it will continue its legal process against Jaco van der Merwe, the Pretoria man who has been displaying slogans on his vehicle denouncing the manufacturer.

Van der Merwe, the son of Inkatha Freedom Party Chief Whip Koos van der Merwe, claimed that his Isuzu’s chassis bent while he was on holiday in Namibia in April 2001. The Isuzu was a year old and had about 29 000 km on the clock. He said Delta refused to replace or repair the vehicle. Delta said the chassis could only have bent if subjected to misuse or negligence.

Delta earlier this month failed in court in a renewed attempt to stop Van der Merwe from displaying the slogans describing the Isuzu as the “worst 4x4 by far” and “gravel road breaks chassis” on his vehicle. They also wanted him to stop his email campaign denouncing the company.

Delta said it wants the vehicle to be examined by an impartial arbitrator, and said it would stand by its original undertaking to abide by the outcome of that process.

"In support of our customer base of over 100 000 satisfied Isuzu owners, our dealers and our product integrity, Delta will be continuing with the legal process relating to Jaco van der Merwe and his claim that the chassis of his Isuzu bakkie was defective," said Doug Harrison, director of after sales at Delta.

"To this end, the company intends to make an application to the highest judicial body, the Supreme Court of Appeal, for leave to appeal against the recent ruling in this matter by an Acting Judge."

"Based on the information we have, we are convinced that this customer has behaved, and continues to behave, in a defamatory manner. We are confident that our products meet the highest quality design and performance standards and are not defective as claimed.

“Since early 2001, and on numerous occasions, we have insisted that the case be referred to an independent arbitrator such as the Automobile Association or the Motor Industry Adjudicator."

Harrison believes that the customer's rejection of the company's offers and its undertakings to abide by the decisions of these bodies is a clear indication of his unwillingness to resolve the matter in a reasonable manner.

"In the interest of all the parties concerned, we require that the vehicle be examined by an impartial arbitrator. The company strongly urges the customer to co-operate in this respect," said Harrison.

CARtoday.com earlier this month reported that Van der Merwe laid charges of perjury against three of the manufacturer’s executives. Van der Merwe said the officials had made false statements that severely prejudiced him.