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Old 4th June 2009, 16:33   #1
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Angry Swift Dzrie Vdi Rightful Insurance claim denied - Beware of Royal Sundaram CHEATERS !

Swift Dzire Vdi accident leads to major engine damage - Royal Sundaram/Maruti Insurance refuses claim

Hi Guys,

I have been facing a huge problem since the last few weeks. What started as a minor accident with me going over an ill fated stone has turned out to haunt me as full blown engine damage. The worst part of the above statement is I did nothing wrong, in fact I did what I have learned over the years being a part of this forum. Our family has a history of driving cars for more than 15 years and it is well-known understanding to stop the car and the engine immediately in case of a front end accident. My car is around 4 months old and is insured by Royal Sundaram/Maruti insurance. Let me run you all through the incidents.

On 16th May 2009, at roughly around 13.00 hours my car met with an accident on the road towards Mulund (from the Eastern Express Highway). I accidentally went over a stone lying on the road which hit the underbody of the car and I stopped immediately. Similarly, even here as soon as I hit the stone I stopped the car immediately and turned the engine off. After coming out to assess the damage, I saw that oil was leaking from the underbody and I realized the damage was serious enough not to drive my car any further.

I immediately called Maruti 24/7 helpline and then called Spectra Motors (Ghatkopar), where I had done my 1st service, and asked for their towing van service to take my car to them. They suggested towing the car to Spectra Motors (Thane) instead, citing that accidental repairs are not undertaken at their Ghatkopar branch and I agreed. After around half an hour of waiting at the same spot the towing van came, did the paper work and took the car to Spectra Motors, Thane.

At the outset, I had been told by the service advisor that there are damages to bumper, oil sump and oil strainer. Everything had to be replaced and I had to pay 50% for the bumper and rest all will be paid 100% by the insurance company since the car is under 6 months old. There was some shortage of parts and parts had to be ordered from Delhi. This led to an initial delay but the parts were replaced and I was to be given delivery of the car around 10 days back.

After this started my nightmare, I was told that the car is ready but the engine is knocking and it seems there is some mis-alignment or damage to internal components. He questioned whether I had driven my car after the accident. He mentioned that insurance companies are extremely vary of settling such engine damage claims since such damages are referred to as consequential damages (Driving after an accident leading to increased damages).

I clearly mentioned to them what had happened and that I had turned the engine off immediately and not moved even an inch from the accident spot. He spoke to the Royal Sundaram and they said that they would comment after assessing the damage. I was informed that only opening the engine to check damages would cost 5k. Since, we had no idea of the damages I told them to go ahead.

A week back the engine was opened and it has come to their/our knowledge that there is substantial engine damage as well due to the accident.

The rationalization given to me by Mr. Vipul Khamkar (Asst. Works Manager) at Spectra Motors, Thane is that at the time of impact, along with the oil sump the oil strainer (the part which carries the oil to the engine) also broke off and that caused an instantaneous stoppage of oil to the engine leading to an immediate damage (due to heat buildup and expansion). He mentioned that modern diesel engines are extremely complex and delicate and have a very large quantity of oil present in engine circulation itself (compared to the sump) and hence the damage. As per his experience, he assumes that since the car had run for around 4-5 kms before the accident, the engine was already at an optimum temperature. Hence, a stoppage of oil to the engine may have caused an immediate damage.

He also mentioned that there may have been some manufacturing defect as to why the engine got damaged so soon.

We spoke to the Royal Sundaram guys and they are adamant that the damages done cannot be covered under insurance. My question is what the purpose of insurance is if it doesnít cover purely accidental damages as well. I told them that I have pictures with me showing the exact accident location where my car was stationary till it was towed away to Spectra. I have sent a mail to them with all the pictures and explanation.

Now I am at cross-roads, Sundaram tells me to get started with the work since they will take around 10 days to decide on the claim. If they donít cover the claim the expenses are expected to be around 1 lac or even more!! I have told Spectra to wait for Sundaramís final official reply to the claim and then I will take a call.

I have sent a mail to Royal Sundaramís customer service and also to Maruti customer service at contact@maruti.in and am awaiting reply. I desperately need some guidance as to how do I go forward with the issue. There is no way I can easily cough up that amount for no fault of mine.

I am attaching the pictures which I have sent to them. Please take a careful look at the amount of oil below the car and also see that no oil is spilled behind the car on the road. The car was stopped and turned off immediately after the accident and towed from this very location. This also nullifies your argument that the car was run without the oil and that this was a consequential damage. The pictures clearly show that the car was stopped the moment the accident happened and that the oil loss happened while the car was stationary at that place for around 30 minutes while we were waiting for the towing van.

Please guide me as to how I can go forward on this and whom should I contact for a faster response.

Regards


P.S. The pictures show the place of the accident and towing, the damage to the oil sump, amount of leaked oil, damage to the engine camshaft. The eighth picture shows the kinf of stone that went under the car.
Attached Thumbnails
Swift Dzrie Vdi Rightful Insurance claim denied - Beware of Royal Sundaram CHEATERS !-160520091337.jpg  

Swift Dzrie Vdi Rightful Insurance claim denied - Beware of Royal Sundaram CHEATERS !-160520091338.jpg  

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Swift Dzrie Vdi Rightful Insurance claim denied - Beware of Royal Sundaram CHEATERS !-160520091343.jpg  

Swift Dzrie Vdi Rightful Insurance claim denied - Beware of Royal Sundaram CHEATERS !-160520091344.jpg  

Swift Dzrie Vdi Rightful Insurance claim denied - Beware of Royal Sundaram CHEATERS !-160520091345.jpg  

Swift Dzrie Vdi Rightful Insurance claim denied - Beware of Royal Sundaram CHEATERS !-160520091346.jpg  

Swift Dzrie Vdi Rightful Insurance claim denied - Beware of Royal Sundaram CHEATERS !-160520091348.jpg  

Swift Dzrie Vdi Rightful Insurance claim denied - Beware of Royal Sundaram CHEATERS !-160520091352.jpg  

Swift Dzrie Vdi Rightful Insurance claim denied - Beware of Royal Sundaram CHEATERS !-160520091354.jpg  

Swift Dzrie Vdi Rightful Insurance claim denied - Beware of Royal Sundaram CHEATERS !-160520091355.jpg  

Swift Dzrie Vdi Rightful Insurance claim denied - Beware of Royal Sundaram CHEATERS !-160520091359.jpg  

Swift Dzrie Vdi Rightful Insurance claim denied - Beware of Royal Sundaram CHEATERS !-030620091388-large.jpg  

Swift Dzrie Vdi Rightful Insurance claim denied - Beware of Royal Sundaram CHEATERS !-030620091389-large.jpg  

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Old 4th June 2009, 17:22   #2
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I agree that the engines are complex and they can get damaged. This is not the first time I am observing this. I have seen this in Indigo too. If the car was running fine, then we cannot pin point towards manufacturing defect.

You are perfectly right that you have not moved from the moment you stopped and as a proof of this, there is oil on the road.
Dealing with insurance company is not an easy task. From different stories I have heard, the argument insurance firms give is that this type of damage is regular wear and tear and not accident.

Try contacting them at higher level. And also from our past experience with Baleno, Emails hardly help in matters. They do not look into each and every image that you have emailed them. Try reaching the intelligent humans in person.
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Old 4th June 2009, 17:44   #3
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Thats a pretty bad accident and on top of that insurance firm is harassing you. Insurance cos are like that only and they dont want to spend even a penny extra, you would have to fight it out with them for this big claim.

I would agree with aaggoswami, emails wont help here. Get in person to someone senior and try showing him this proof of photos and convince him as there is no OIL STREAKS in 5th photo and you stopped as soon as you hit the stone. The claim is quite a big one too and Insurance should agree to atleast pay a part of it.
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Old 4th June 2009, 17:46   #4
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You are right about regular wear and tear, but my car is 4 months old and run only around 4000 kms. I will contact their regional managers and even higher if possible but as of now they have asked Spectra for a total estimate of the damage. So its wait and watch for me for couple of days.

The manufacturing defect angle comes in as its capability towards reliability and failure. The works manager at Spectra told me that it could have been a manufacturing defect which is why the engine got damaged in a matter of seconds.

Last edited by ThE_DoN : 4th June 2009 at 17:48. Reason: Added info
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Old 4th June 2009, 18:11   #5
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@DON: There is visible damage to the sump, I used to travel on that road from EE Highway towards Nirmal. On that road we cannot go more than 40-50 and IMO at that speed a stone cannot break oil sump. But after seeing the pics I have to believe you that you stopped the car immediatly after stone hit. (Forget driving about 4-5 Km that road is around 2.5 KM from EEH to Nirmal).

Please take the photographs and also show the accident spot and the spot where car is parked (further ahead) to the insurance surveyor.

Hope they clear your claim. Best of luck and do post the updates.

Last edited by shabahmad : 4th June 2009 at 18:13.
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Old 4th June 2009, 18:23   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shabahmad View Post
@DON: There is visible damage to the sump, I used to travel on that road from EE Highway towards Nirmal. On that road we cannot go more than 40-50 and IMO at that speed a stone cannot break oil sump. But after seeing the pics I have to believe you that you stopped the car immediatly after stone hit. (Forget driving about 4-5 Km that road is around 2.5 KM from EEH to Nirmal).

Please take the photographs and also show the accident spot and the spot where car is parked (further ahead) to the insurance surveyor.

Hope they clear your claim. Best of luck and do post the updates.
Shabahmad: What i meant about 4-5 kms driving is - The service advisor had asked me how much I had driven before the accident happened. So from my home to the accident spot i drove around 5 kms.. Hence his theory that immediate damage is possible in such a case. Even after the works manager at Spectra admitting that the damage is purely due to the accident, Royal Sundaram is still not ready to honor the claim.

You are perfectly right about the road, it under construction right now. I hope bikers are safe on that rode at night because there are no street lights either.
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Old 4th June 2009, 18:30   #7
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Sir, The problem is with the Insurance company. They ought to give you for the damages incurred especially in a new car.

As mentioned before by others, it is not easy to pin a manufacturer for manufacturing defect especially in a country such as ours.

Also, the private insurance companies are not too helpful in such situations.

One suggestion is to take either of them to consumer court! Atleast a legal notice would move forward!

All the best!
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Old 4th June 2009, 18:49   #8
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Something fishy. Stone hitting the oil sump cannot break the shaft. They are trying to coverup something that may have happened when the car was with them for initial repair. It can also be a manufacturing defect.

What I know is that if the oil is not supplied to the engine, the pistons will jam in place. Atleast in one cylinder you should be able to locate the damage on the cylinder wall, piston rings and the pistons itself. the shaft cannot break directly with out the effect on the others.
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Old 4th June 2009, 18:51   #9
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Your camshaft broke ?

Swift Dzrie Vdi Rightful Insurance claim denied - Beware of Royal Sundaram CHEATERS !-brokencamshaft.jpg

Judging from your description of the incident, such kind of damage is not possible. If you still have the broken camshaft, you could look at having it tested for manufacturing defects.

Was the engine at high RPM when you hit the stone ?
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Old 4th June 2009, 19:13   #10
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From what I understand, the insurance provider is not ready to accept this as accident.

About the camshaft, it looks like it was under stress and then it got sheared ( sorry if my spelling is incorrect ). For example if the car hit the stone at reasonable high rpm, then as soon as the car hit the stone, oil came out and while it did so, there was certain amount of pressure that was suddenly released.
This might have created chaos for the camshaft.

The fact that oil came out suddenly ( i.e. sudden loss of pressure ) can be seen in other images where we can see there are oil spots on others parts in the engine bay.

EDIT :
Here is the image in which we can see the oil marks on parts that generally wont have these marks.
Attached Thumbnails
Swift Dzrie Vdi Rightful Insurance claim denied - Beware of Royal Sundaram CHEATERS !-tbhpswiftdzirereply.jpg  


Last edited by aaggoswami : 4th June 2009 at 19:15.
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Old 4th June 2009, 19:29   #11
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Something is really fishy here. Did you check the Cam shaft bearings? If the cam shaft broke due to overheating, the Bearings should have also been damaged. They could either be permanently distorted making them "freeze" or at least have stress marks affecting their free rotation. Also looking at the place of failure it appears to be a manufacturing defect. A crack (generally due to internal stress from a heat treatment / material problem) could have pre-existed which could have led to the failure due to thermal or physical shock as a result of the accident. probably as @im_srini said, you should get the broken pieces of shaft tested by an independant lab for manufacturing defect. If that is established then you can take Maruti to task and get a free replacement under warranty.

Is it possible for you to get us a closeup of the broken ends?

Last edited by cnaganathan : 4th June 2009 at 19:30.
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Old 4th June 2009, 20:45   #12
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@ aaggoswami - You are right about the splatter. Even i had noticed it and assumed that it must have happened when the stone punctured the oil sump. i will have a word with the service advisor regarding the same tomorrow.

@ cnaganathan - I dont know about the bearings you're taking about. But one thing i forgot to mention is that before opening the engine he showed me a small cap, which sits on the left side of the engine. he showed me scratch marks on that cap and said that this shows that the cam has been mis-aligned or broken. This was done before opening the engine.

Let me explain what he exactly said when I had taken the pics.

1) Picture no.3 is another view of the cam in Picture 1. Here he said because of sudden drop in oil and heat buildup this part (yellow arrow) must have expanded and hence when part (red arrow) tried to move it resulted in a crack in the cam. He also showed me the other part broken part of the rod (i dont have that picture), and it was a perfect crack and fit.

Later when i tried moving the cam it moved smoothly - to this he mentioned that the metal automatically contracts after cooling down.


2) In picture 2, i dont know if you guys observed but part (yellow arrow) also broke off due to the cracking of the crank.

The service advisor told me that he checked the condition of my oil and it was of normal color and viscosity and that he believed me that i did not drive the car post the accident. According to him if someone drives in such a condition the oil would have become black and thick.

Well tomorrow he is going to give me and Royal Sundaram an estimate of the repair charges and lets see how it goes. I just hope that the damage is restricted to the cam and not the piston, valves etc.
Attached Thumbnails
Swift Dzrie Vdi Rightful Insurance claim denied - Beware of Royal Sundaram CHEATERS !-copy-030620091388.jpg  

Swift Dzrie Vdi Rightful Insurance claim denied - Beware of Royal Sundaram CHEATERS !-copy-030620091389.jpg  

Swift Dzrie Vdi Rightful Insurance claim denied - Beware of Royal Sundaram CHEATERS !-030620091387.jpg  


Last edited by ThE_DoN : 4th June 2009 at 20:54.
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Old 4th June 2009, 20:48   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cnaganathan View Post
If that is established then you can take Maruti to task and get a free replacement under warranty.
Maruti will claim it to be accident damage if it taken to task. Already the dealership is concluding that this is accident damage. It will be very difficult to prove that there is manufacturing defect ( which I myself doubt ).

Best bet here is to get insurance cover that will solve almost all the problems. I also doubt if the dealer will give parts for testing in labs.


EDIT :
Yes, its true that after cooling down the metal will contract and the rise in temperature will expand the metal. In your case it was sudden loss as earlier I have posted ( and you have noticed the splatter too ). And the theory is, as of now atleast to me, sound adequate to justify the failure of cam.

Tomorrow demand more justification as you have mentioned.

Last edited by aaggoswami : 4th June 2009 at 20:52.
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Old 4th June 2009, 21:01   #14
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yeah, but camshafts cannot crack like that within seconds. They are all designed to withstand a minimum amount of heat [read run without oil for atleast 5 mins or so]

And being a DOHC engine, it sure is not designed to run at low rpms. Guess you can push for manufacturing defect!

The reason i say this is because, modern inspection technology uses X-ray measurements, after machining of such precision engine parts, to prevent such defects or cracks.

Last edited by headers : 4th June 2009 at 21:03.
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Old 4th June 2009, 22:02   #15
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This is definitely not an oil leak damage! cam shaft broken in two!! More like the sudden stopping putting heavy load on the cam (which might have had a hairline fracture/manufacturing defect) and breaking it into two!

Its a scary pic!
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