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Defective car sold to a soldier costs dear to Car Company, dealer


Ferozepur, August 16 (YP Bureau)
The Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission at Chandigarh has imposed heavy Exemplary Costs of rs.1 Lac each on Maruti Suzuki and its Regional Manager at Chandigarh on account of selling a defective Wagon R VXI Model car to a Soldier Hav Kulwinder Singh of Indian Army.


On 10.9.2010, Hav Kulwinder Singh of Indian Army Purchased a Maruti Wagon R XVI car manufactured by Maruti Suzuki Company from its Authorised Dealer Tara Automobiles under Army Quota through Canteen Stores department Bathinda after payment of entire sale consideration vide delivery Challan No.147.


After its purchase, he got the car insured with The New India Assurance Company Ltd. After taking delivery of the said car, he proceeded to his destination but in the way, near village Fifana ( Sirsa ), the car automatically stopped and its engine stopped running. The Manager of dealer was informed on telephone about this who advised to take the car at the nearest dealer Shakti Motors Sirsa and the complainant took the car at Shakti Motors Sirsa.


Later on, the dealer asked him to bring the said car to their show room and he did so but the dealer failed to remove the defect which was a manufacturing defect. As per the customer, the company, in connivance with the dealer, sold a defective car to the complainant with manufacturing defect in the same. Kulwinder Singh requested the company as well as dealer to change the defective car but they failed to do so. So, pleading deficiency in service and unfair trade practice, Kulwinder Singh filed a complaint before the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Ferozepur.  The Forum sent notices to the dealer, Company and its regional Manager at Chandigarh to appear but the dealer did not present himself before the forum despite service of notice and was proceeded against ex-parte.


The Company and its Regional Manager appeared before the Consumer Forum, Ferozepur and pleaded that the claim of the complainant is not covered under the warranty because the complainant drove the vehicle in water flooded area where the water entered into the engine of the vehicle and resulted into Hydrostatic Lock and only the repairs are to be carried on chargeable basis as this fact has been mentioned in the job card issued by Shakti Motors Sirsa. The company further denied its liability being the dealer to be liable for the defect, if any.


The District Consumer Forum, Ferozepur consisting of Sh. Sanjay Garg, President and Sh. Tarlok Singh Member, after considering all the facts brought on the file concluded that the Seller and the manufacturer are guilty of selling a defective car to the complainant and ordered to refund the complainant, the price of the car to the tune of Rs.3,56,295/- plus insurance charges of Rs.10,775/-, Rs.550/- paid as accessories alongwith interest @ 7% per annum from the date of complaint i.e. from 1.10.2010 till realization alongwith Rs.2000/- as litigation expenses. The said order in complaint No.541 of 2010 was passed by the District Consumer Forum on 19.1.2011.


Aggrieved from the said order, the Company Maruti Suzuki through its Regional Manager, Chandigarh as well as the dealer Tara Automobiles Jalalabad (W) filed two separate appeals before the Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Chandigarh for setting aside the award passed against them.


The Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Chandigarh has decided both the appeals in a single order dated 23.7.2012 holding the dealer and the Company guilty and also concluded that the Company as well as dealer at Jalalabad are also guilty of tempering with the Job card issued by Shakti Motors Sirsi by handwriting on the said computerized Job card mentioning,“Vehicle stopped due to water rneter in engine, Engine Need O/H.” There was a warranty for the vehicle for a period of 24 months or 40000 kms. From the date of purchase but the defect occurred on the same day of sale of car only after a run of 269 kms.


After the detailed discussion, The Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Chandigarh held that both the appeals i.e. Appeal no.387 pof 2011 filed by the Company and appeal no.390 of 2011 filed by dealer Tara Automobile Jalalabad, are meritless and which are to be dismissed with exemplary costs so that in future no person in India dares to harass such like a present case, to a Soldier who is always ready to sacrifice his life without bothering his responsibilities towards his family. So, both the appeals are dismissed with costs of Rs.1,00,000/- each to be paid by the appellants of both the appeals to Hav Kulwinder Singh within one month from the date of receipt of copy of order.