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Old 31st October 2011, 14:37   #1
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Default The great Indian Warranty scam - How "grey areas" mean you get robbed

First and formost, let me make it very clear. This is not a Tata bashing thread. Or a Toyota Bashing thread, or for that matter Maruti/Hyundai....etc., bashing thread.

This thread applies to all of them. This thread is about how companies are fleecing you when it comes to warranty claims, and we are happily getting fleeced. I don't know whether its ignorance, or just pure brand fanboyism, but whatever the cause, it is happening now and happening quite a bit.
Moreover, I will not name any manfacturer here, I will just list a few experiences of mine, and others, on how companies are literally cheating you, and creating loopholes to wriggle out of warranty.

Before we start. Let me ask you what is warranty. some say 2 years 100,000kms warranty, and 2 years extended warranty. Some give 100,000kms 3 years warranty.

Some give 40,000kms standard warranty.

What it basically means that if you have a failure within this time period, either you will get a replacement, or in case of extended warranty, replacement will be applied for, and then some insurance company will cover your losses.

Standard practice across most manufacturers.

Now lets come to the scam part.
The scam part is pertaining to the grey areas. Parts which are consumable, not immediately, but over thousands of kms. Often "Wear and Tear" is stated as the cause to deny warranty, and in cars done 30,000kms or 50,000kms we happily accept this cock and bull story and come back with a smile, without realizing we just got robbed.

A few specific instances I will quote here, without naming any manufacturer. If one MFR was doing it more than others, then of course, we can make it "that mfr" bashing thread, but trust me, all of them do it.

So lets start
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Old 31st October 2011, 14:38   #2
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Default Clutch and gearbox related

Clutch

This is the most common thing in which you get fleeced. A TBHPIAN went with a problem of hard gear shift. Car has done 27000kms(approx).
Reason given was clutch, and clutch was replaced under cost. Wear and Tear being given as cause. Clutch replacement did not result in soft gears.
Now the pointed questions
1. If clutch had been abused, and clutch plates had worn out due to poor driving style, there should have been slippage?
2. Why did the company not open the clutch plates before giving this judgement
3. The problem did not go away. Did company refund the amount
4. If 28000kms clutch change is normal for the company, why do they not recommend clutch change every 30,000kms in their service center.

Now lets stretch it a bit further. If you ever go to a service center with a car done 50-60000kms, and show then problem with a clutch, they will recommend a clutch change and not give you warranty. Wear and tear is the argument.

Again, without inspecting clutch plates, how can they be sure that its wear and tear due to load on clutch.
But try getting a warranty replacement of clutch at 60,000kms and you would know.

And if that is the norm for clutch life, why is clutch replacement not recommended in service at 60,000kms. Why the secrecy. They proudly display in their warranty books that suspension is covered for 40,000 or 30,000kms etc., why do they not do it for clutch.
Why are they not open about the fact that their clutch will last only 40,000kms.
And last but not the least, why do they generalize instead of actually inspecting the clutch.

For example, master and slave cylinder replacement is given even at 80,000kms as they are not "wear and tear" affected parts. but if a Faulty cylinder leads to clutch damage no company will give you replacement, and try to wriggle out of warranty citing wear and tear
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Old 31st October 2011, 14:43   #3
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Default Suspension components

Now, this is the other sticky bit. Most companies say "suspension warranty 30,000kms, 35000kms or 40000kms, and in some cases 60,000kms(rare)."

But have you never spent money before that? I think you would have. Some bush would have gone bad, then you would have paid 200rs for bush and 700rs for labor.

"Bush is a rubber part sir, will not be covered".
How convenient.

So if in Indian conditions, bushes will not last 35000kms(while shock absorbers would), why don't they say so in their replacement guidelines. Why not recommend a 15000kms interval for suspension bushes?

Just because its a rubber bush, its okay for it to go bad and ruin your pocket and time?

But we have come to accept it. I am sure many people here would argue against me saying how can warranty be given for rubber parts.

Depending upon usage bushes will last less (rough roads).

My only question... If the usage is so bad, then shouldn't the bushes last as long as the shock absorbers and tie rods atleast?
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Old 31st October 2011, 14:52   #4
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Default Driveshaft, brakes and miscellany

with the major ones out of the way, let me present you the case of an "extended warranty".

Brake discs
Mordern cars have atleast 2 brake disks. And if you do not change your brake pads, they will get scratched and then get ruined. The company will deny you warranty and rightly so.

But what if you change your pads at regular intervals, then what?

Let me give you a real world example.
A leading manufacturer gives extended warranty which is 2 years(starting after standard warranty period), and also gives a booklet.

It says 150,000kms cover.

In the list of items covered it says brake discs. In the suspension section it clearly says, "35000kms" coverage.

In the brake disc section, it does not say 40,000kms or any such number. However, if you walk into most service centers they will even refuse to file a claim if the car has done over 40,000kms.

Some do file a claim, and then even get it, but its all luck and your relationship with the service center. However, warranty should be your right, you did not buy a lottery, you bought a vehicle.

Why is the company not saying officially that over 40,000kms brake discs are not covered. Is this not direct fraud with customer? Why is it in 150,000kms

And how can they say "wear due to worn brake pads" without even inspecting the discs?

Driveshaft components

Its the time of inflationary pressure, and to deal with it, many parts now have rubber/plastic components, like some rubber boots, jackets etc.,

Sometimes these parts fail. and are not covered under warranty. But the bigger scam is that to fix this 20rs problem, you have to buy the entire component, which costs 20,000rs

Again, getting away with the fine print, and to add insult to injury, requiring replacement of entire component.

Bearings etc.
Wheel bearings are covered under standard warranty. However, their rubber seals are not.
So even if you get a free bearing replacement, they will charge you labor for seal replacement. this labor is same as removing and refitting bearing. So using their modern CMS systems, they bill you in a way that you end up saving only cost price of bearing.
Lets say bearing = 500rs
Labor for bearing = 1000rs
Rubber seals 900rs

you will be billed 900 for the seals, + 1000rs as seals replacement, and you save 500.

If you had gotten the entire kit change at cost, you would have ended up saving just 500.
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Old 31st October 2011, 14:54   #5
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Default Share your experience

So after reading all this, do you believe you have been scammed. Do share your experience. Do not hesitate in naming the workshop and the mfr. I did not name anyone because I did not want this to become a particular manufacturer bash thread.

So go ahead and tell us whenever you have been scammed out of what you think was a genuine warranty claim.
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Old 31st October 2011, 15:04   #6
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Default Re: The great Indian Warranty scam - How "grey areas" mean you get robbed

If I take the clutch example is there any manufacturer at all that does give in black and white regarding the warranty coverage of the clutch, mentioning the kms run till which it would be covered etc?
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Old 31st October 2011, 15:16   #7
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Default Re: The great Indian Warranty scam - How "grey areas" mean you get robbed

The golden rule, 'All warranties are null and void, one the cheque is paid'.

This is one reason why I have been ranting against the 'extended warranties'. These are an enrichment program for the dealership and the A$$es and no more. Do away with these and give us a lower price.
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Old 31st October 2011, 15:27   #8
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Default Re: The great Indian Warranty scam - How "grey areas" mean you get robbed

Quote:
Originally Posted by fine69 View Post
If I take the clutch example is there any manufacturer at all that does give in black and white regarding the warranty coverage of the clutch, mentioning the kms run till which it would be covered etc?
No, nobody does. I am not even asking for it. But simply saying "wear and tear" without opening up the clutch or inspecting it(irrespective of kms) is fraud.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
The golden rule, 'All warranties are null and void, one the cheque is paid'.

This is one reason why I have been ranting against the 'extended warranties'. These are an enrichment program for the dealership and the A$$es and no more. Do away with these and give us a lower price.
For owners of some brands, they are life savors. For example, I spent 6K on extended warranty, and have had part replacements in excess of 30K under extended warranty.
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Old 31st October 2011, 15:38   #9
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Default Re: The great Indian Warranty scam - How "grey areas" mean you get robbed

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
No, nobody does. I am not even asking for it. But simply saying "wear and tear" without opening up the clutch or inspecting it(irrespective of kms) is fraud.
The wiser lot (thanks to t-bhp) might still be able to press the dealer by digging deep and getting something replaced totally based on warranty but the mango people are totally up to A.S.S.'s mercy on this.

I haven't owned a car for too long and haven't had the opportunity to decipher whether something should be replaced under warranty or not but would be curious to know if someone actually got a part replaced under warranty when they were originally told that its simply a case of 'wear and tear'.

I think this thread would also throw light on the typical issues where the A.S.S. guys do not replace certain parts stating that its wear n tear.
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Old 31st October 2011, 16:05   #10
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Default Re: The great Indian Warranty scam - How "grey areas" mean you get robbed

My Swift suffered a clutch failure at 3000km. It was towed to Pratham motors.

I was told that it was my fault due to my driving habits. I told him that I have never changed a cars clutch in my life.

Was then countered that I drive with the handbrake on. I said, ok, please pull the brake drms off and examine the wear.

End game - they showed me pics of the clutch which looked like coconut fibre. I told them to please escalate to Maruti. They later told me to take car andthey will collect paymwent later.
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Old 31st October 2011, 16:22   #11
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Default Re: The great Indian Warranty scam - How "grey areas" mean you get robbed

I was charged for the usual tactics of saar clutch is weak for my Santro @ 25000 Kms. Had a argument and the dealer did not budge and I had to pay. The charges for washer wiper fluid is Rs 50 and the labour charges for this is Rs 75.
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Old 31st October 2011, 16:29   #12
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Default Re: The great Indian Warranty scam - How "grey areas" mean you get robbed

Lovely thread, fortunately i have never had to use the warranty except for one instance where in the manufacturer (in fact the dealer pushed it and helped claim warranty) replaced the part costing upwards of 20K (in total, including labour etc) when the car was just above the warranty limit (i think by one of two thousand kms) as a goodwill warranty.

I would not name the manufacturer but most of the time it depends on how good you are in talking your way through this confusing mess. Its never black and white (which is wrong and hence i agree with the thread title).

I am not sure if there are any manufacturers who are exceptions to this rule on both sides positive and negative.
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Old 31st October 2011, 16:36   #13
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Default Re: The great Indian Warranty scam - How "grey areas" mean you get robbed

I bought 5year warranty on my i10 and my experience has been mixed.

15k kms: my clutch went hard, they initially said its wear & tear but then I told them that it is a recurring problem with i10, a bit of hard talk and they replaced it free of cost. (Basically once they realise that you know yor stuff, they will agree)
Also power window motor on passenger side (had gotten really slow) & wiper motor were replaced for free ( the slow speed wasn't working)

22k kms: I got my rack & pinon replaced free of cost (had to pay for alignment & balancing though). This might not exactly be a manufacturing defect. Bad roads in Mumbai during rains and hitting potholes hard could have also contributed, I had complained of steering & suspension noise and they replaced this without any questions being asked.

However, now I feel extended warranty is not meant for me, Hyundai will make you service car every six monthsonly at A$$ (to keep warranty intact), which has become horribly expensive recently. My yearly usage is no more than 5k kms. Its almost 4-5k per service.

Better buy a Honda/Toyota and stick to A$$ all your life.

Last edited by vikramvicky1984 : 31st October 2011 at 16:39.
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Old 31st October 2011, 18:43   #14
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Default Re: The great Indian Warranty scam - How "grey areas" mean you get robbed

9000kms on my Alto and one side brake pads are completely worn out. The car was not even a year old. The guys tell me too much of highway driving can cause one side to wear out like this. I told them I have another car at home for highways and this has never seen the outskirts of bangalore. Am told that my braking action might be too aggressive. Then how come none of my earlier cars had this problem.

Finally they claim sir, brake pads are wear and tear and not covered under warranty it will be charged. I asked for this in writing with letter head that the pads are known to get worn out within 10,000kms and not covered under warranty.

Next day went to collect the car and see brake pads replaced and amount is Rs.0.
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Old 31st October 2011, 20:36   #15
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Default Re: The great Indian Warranty scam - How "grey areas" mean you get robbed

Half my car is replaced under warranty.

1.Clutch Replaced at 20 thousand km because it had become hard.
2.Gearbox syncro rings, low speed ratio replaced under warranty at 20 thousand km.
3. One mounting bush replaced under warranty, I dont remember at what km.
4.Wiper mechanism internals replaced under warranty as they were making a noise at 30 thousand.
5.Steering Gearbox replaced under warranty at 36500 Kilometre's.
6.Brake booster replaced to a bigger one under warranty at 30 thousand Kilometre's5 6.Turbo replaced under warranty at 48 thousand kilometre's

Maruti has a freehand compared to other manufacturer's at replacing part if they are found faulty.
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