18 years after purchase, car manufacturer & dealer told to refund 4.5 lakh for ‘faulty vehicle’

18 years after purchase, Mumbai-resident to receive 4 lakh refund for 'faulty car'
The apex consumer commission directed Tata Engineering & its dealer Concorde Motors to jointly refund almost Rs 4.5 lakh to Late Abhay R Bhatwadekar (Representational Image, Courtesy: theautomotiveindia.com)

Vehicle manufacturer Tata Engineering and one of its dealers have been ordered to refund over Rs 4 lakh to a Mumbai-based customer for deficiency of service.

The order was passed by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) after setting aside Maharashtra state commission’s order.

In its order, the apex consumer commission directed Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company Limited and a dealer Concorde Motors Limited to jointly and severally refund the amount of Rs 4,58,853 to Mumbai resident Late Abhay R Bhatwadekar.

The bench, comprising of President R K Agrawal and Member M Shreesha, also awarded a litigation cost of Rs 10,000 to the consumer.

“In the absence of any documentary evidence to substantiate that the car was indeed delivered to the complainant (Bhatwadekar), we are of the considered view that there is a deficiency of service on the part of the manufacturer and the dealer,” the commission said in a recent order.

The car had gone to the garage for repairs multiple times when the subject car was within warranty and had barely done 2,500 km, the bench noted.

Bhatwadekar had booked a Tata Indica car in May 2000. The dealer, Concorde, initially promised to deliver the car on May 15 but failed to do so till May 26.

The complaint alleged that Bharwadekar refused to receive the delivery of the car as it was not in a road-worthy condition. He alleged that the car had electrical problems.

He also alleged that the dealer delivered the car without the consent of Bharwadekar at his premises, contrary to the usual procedure of effective delivery at the showroom.

The tribunal noted that no substantial reasons were given by the manufacturer/dealer as to why the car was not taken back even after Bhatwadekar refused to sign the delivery receipt due to defects found in the car.

“It is not understood as to why the dealer did not follow the regular procedure of taking an acknowledgment at the time of delivery,” the bench said.

Meanwhile, the manufacturer in their written statement said that the vehicle was delivered to Bhatwadekar after rectifying minor repairable defects.

However, it failed to give the customer the same acknowledgment in writing.

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