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Old 5th June 2012, 08:00   #1
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Default Damage caused to your car during service/ repair at a workshop

In my experience it is extremely common for workshops to cause all kinds of damage to cars while the owner entrusts his vehicle with them to take good care of it.

This is very common at big workshops where mechanics have targets to meet in terms of number of cars serviced and service advisers have targets to meet on revenue from customers. So all they care about is getting in the maximum number of cars and getting them out asap.
  • Cars are parked in cramped areas, often resulting in scratches & dents.
  • Perhaps out of sheer greed or just out of negligence, cars are delivered back without essential fluids.
  • Needless to mention the damage to your pocket by over charging for labour, charging for jobs which have not even been done & charges for items which haven't been put into your car anyway.
If you have a similar experience, do share it here so others can know and look out in future.
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Old 5th June 2012, 08:25   #2
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Default Re: Damage caused to your car during service/ repair at a workshop

Luckily none of my cars have been majorly damaged as such during service.

However, Sundaram Motors did mess up a bit in my Corsa while trying to change the bulb that lights up the rear reg. plate. The bulb assembly sits on the bumper and it has to be removed by yanking it from one end by a screw driver. Somehow, they couldn't do that and that has resulted in numerous screw driver marks all over the assembly; most of them chipping off the surface and making 1mm long gashes.

I do know of another BHPians experience at Trident Chevrolet though. He has an free-flow-filter in his car and they were washing the engine bay without covering it. Luckily, he spotted it just in time and no prominent damage resulted.

It depends a bit on your comfort level with the SA too.
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Old 5th June 2012, 08:36   #3
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Default Re: Damage caused to your car during service/ repair at a workshop

Some of my own experiences:

1. Big dent of about 6 inches radius of the front left door during the 10k kms service at a Mahindra Service station in Okhla Ind. Area, Delhi. - They tried to park the car next to wall while delivering so I wouldn't notice.Anyway it was noticed and they repaired, repainted half the door (just below that rubber strip on the door).

2. Maruti service station flushes out coolant, charges me for new coolant and forgets to fill in new coolant in my Dzire diesel. The engine heated up (not to the point of seizure), went back to them, they put in coolant but oil got mixed with coolant immediately.
Result (first): Head gasket replacement - Didnt fix the problem.
Second: Pistons, cylinders, crank everything replaced - Didn't fix the problem.
Third: Head change, valves etc - everything - Lets see if that fixes the problem (receiving the car back today).

3. Years ago Bajaj forgot to fill in engine oil after the very first servicing of my Kawasaki motorcycle. result - new clutch plates.

4. I am sure many of the forum members know about this one: Workshop staff managed to accidentally drop my (previous) Dzire down from the second or third floor of the workshop. After 4 months of arguments, Maruti was involved and they finally replaced it with a new car. (The one which is now being repaired in point 2 above).

5. Mahindra charges for new accelerator cable and the car still has an old accelerator cable with a faded old tag on it which shows it was made 3 years ago when the car was made. - Happened twice during servicing.

6. Workshop mechanic manages to hit the Dzire's front bumper and it splits into two right in the middle.

7. I have a chronic issue with the driver side Power window, every time Mahindra guys open the door to fix it, the car is returned with no-sound from the speaker in that door (4 times so far - different workshops).

8. My colleague in Bangalore drops his Ritz at an A.S.S for first service 1000km and the workshop offers to drop him back home. The guy agrees, a mechanic drops him home in his car, on the way back the mechanic manages to crash. Result: Broken bumper, headlight and dents on fender, bonnet. The owner claimed his own insurance to have it all fixed.

9. Anywhere from Rs. 300-700 for brake cleaning of small - mid size cars. All they do is pressure wash the discs and pads while they are supposed to remove each tyre and clean.

10. Mahindra workshops in Noida/ Delhi want Rs. 400 extra on top of servicing charges just to lubricate the hinges and seat rails. Isn't it part of servicing anyway.

11. Sireesh Mahindra in Bangalore, charges an extra Rs. 300 for consumables on top of servicing(no one could explain which consumables because even small items like emery paper and rust removal spray were charged separately). Separate charges for brake cleaning, separate charges for lubricating the doors. So the 1200-1500 Rs they charge for service is just for washing your car and the labour for changing engine oil only.

12. Mahindra (4 workshops so far in Delhi, Noida, Bangalore): Charges for wheel alignment, never does it. A 2-300 rupee alignment job at a small workshop fixes alignment but Mahindra - never does it!

13. Some common ones are charging excess labour - more than what is displayed in the labour rates chart for that vehicle. Charges for bulbs, nuts and bolts which were not required anyway. Adding additives to engine oil, coolant etc, they even lie to first time buyers and insist that it is part of company specified maintenance. I don't think they add anything at all, even if they do they are very high margin additives, not really known to cause any benefits.

Regardless of where you get your car serviced or which car it is, service advisers always try and fool owners who are in love with their cars and wouldn't question a thing.

Last edited by ff1609 : 5th June 2012 at 08:42. Reason: Typos
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Old 5th June 2012, 08:44   #4
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Default Re: Damage caused to your car during service/ repair at a workshop

I have a whole thread filled with bad experiences!!! - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...new-delhi.html (Bad experience with Rishabh Hyundai, New Delhi)
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Old 5th June 2012, 08:44   #5
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Default Re: Damage caused to your car during service/ repair at a workshop

I always make it a point to give the car a thorough wash before I hand it over to the service center for the regular service. This only to ensure that when a job card is made at the service center all existent dings or scratches are documented.
A dirty car given for service is easy to pass off as " saar scratch was there when you handed us the car before the service".

My car has never been damaged at a service center , but two of my close friends have had this experience and the service center seldom owns up their mistake.

Quote:
Cars are parked in cramped areas, often resulting in scratches & dents.
My idea is simple, usually drop the car off only on weekdays excluding fridays.
Quote:
Perhaps out of sheer greed or just out of negligence, cars are delivered back without essential fluids.
Hardly takes 5 minutes for you as a car owner to check all fluid levels when you take delivery of the car. Additionally never take delivery of the car after it gets dark.

Quote:
Needless to mention the damage to your pocket by over charging for labour, charging for jobs which have not even been done & charges for items which haven't been put into your car anyway.
The key is to check the list of works to be carried out from the job card. I never opt for anything which these fellas dish out like in the saloon.

edit

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
I do know of another BHPians experience at Trident Chevrolet though. He has an free-flow-filter in his car and they were washing the engine bay without covering it. Luckily, he spotted it just in time and no prominent damage resulted.

It depends a bit on your comfort level with the SA too.
This is something you need to always mention before you leave the car. With my older petrol car I used to ensure that the conical filter was covered before I left the car with the service center.

Last edited by rjstyles69 : 5th June 2012 at 08:46.
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Old 5th June 2012, 08:46   #6
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Red face Re: Damage caused to your car during service/ repair at a workshop

I had an experience with new Ford Dealer in Thane who during one of the free services had caused a major scratch at the boot and on the bumper. A few mails to Ford India and the dealer/workshop fixed it for free. Since then have been extra careful about leaving the car during servicing manking it a point to ask the Service Advisor to mention any scratches on the service sheet before taking for servicing.

Most of the little nicks/dents/scratches are often caused by over confident drivers who think they can get into the cramped workshop spaces with ease. Also have seen many technicians juggling with the tools during their break.
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Old 5th June 2012, 11:44   #7
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Default Re: Damage caused to your car during service/ repair at a workshop

Once Sai service at Lower Parel lowered the hydraulic jack that was holding up my car ( Swift ) with the left front door open and they didn't notice that there was a block of wood/metal lying the floor . As a result of which the door got a severe dent , in fact the entire window was shattered due to the pressure. To their credit they replaced the entire door without any charge - I also put my foot down and refused to claim it under insurance even though Sai guys were suggesting the same, thankfully was suitably aware of NCB loss .

On the matter of scratches , I was pleasantly surprised that the VW Downtown workshop at Lower Parel spent a good 5-10 min noting down the scratches on the body of the car prior to taking a car into the workshop and handed over a copy of the sheet as part of the documents. It was a diagram of a car where all the scratches were noted down through crosses on the diagram - its usually used by car lease companies like Avis / Hertz before handing over a car. I thought that it was a good move
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Old 5th June 2012, 12:02   #8
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Default Re: Damage caused to your car during service/ repair at a workshop

Quote:
Originally Posted by souravc View Post
On the matter of scratches , I was pleasantly surprised that the VW Downtown workshop at Lower Parel spent a good 5-10 min noting down the scratches on the body of the car prior to taking a car into the workshop and handed over a copy of the sheet as part of the documents. It was a diagram of a car where all the scratches were noted down through crosses on the diagram - its usually used by car lease companies like Avis / Hertz before handing over a car. I thought that it was a good move
Machino Techno (Maruti A.S.S) in Kolkata follows the same practice. They also note down the number of mats, mudflaps, if the head unit panel is there, jack handle, etc before taking the car in. Even the amount of petrol in the car is noted down on the job slip.
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Old 5th June 2012, 15:21   #9
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Default Re: Damage caused to your car during service/ repair at a workshop

When such things happen, Is it the service centre responsibility? Or do they have any clause in the job card which says they are not responsible?
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Old 5th June 2012, 15:38   #10
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Default Re: Damage caused to your car during service/ repair at a workshop

I think there is an omnibus clause - Cars are garaged and driven at the owner's risk.
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Old 5th June 2012, 20:50   #11
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Default Re: Damage caused to your car during service/ repair at a workshop

A workshop most certainly has the duty to take care of your car and can be made liable in a case of damage caused due to negligence .

There are the following provisions on the basis of which the workshop can be made liable .

The relationship between the owner of the car and the workshop is that of a Bailor(Owner of car ) and Bailee (Workshop owner) and it is called a Bailment.

The same is described under Section 148 of the Indian Contract Act - 1872 which states as follows :-

A" bailment" is the delivery of goods by one person to another for some purpose, upon a contract that they shall, when the purpose is accomplished, be returned or otherwise disposed of according to the directions of the person delivering them. The person delivering the goods is called the" bailor". The person to whom they are delivered is called, the" bailee"

This puts the workshop in the shoes of the bailee and hence it has certain duties and responsibilities towards the goods bailed which in this case is a car .

The same is clearly stated under Section 151 of the Indian Contract Act - 1872 which states as follows :-

In all cases of bailment the bailee is bound to take as much care of the goods bailed to him as a man of ordinary prudence would, under similar circumstances, take of his own goods of the same bulk, quality and value as the goods bailed.

Hence taking reasonable care of your car is an obvious duty of the workshop . However there might be certain conditions which can not be avoided by reasonable care such as well a flood coming overnight which damages your car , however as these are "acts of god " and not actually caused due to the negligence of the workmen at the workshop hence these need not be taken into consideration .

Its very simple when it comes down to things written in black and white . The problem is that not a lot of people know about our countries laws and this gives the workshop people an opportunity to take customers for a ride .

Hope this helps .

P.S. I am no lawyer , but a 3rd year Law student .
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Old 6th June 2012, 08:22   #12
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Default Re: Damage caused to your car during service/ repair at a workshop

Quote:
Originally Posted by mxx View Post
When such things happen, Is it the service centre responsibility? Or do they have any clause in the job card which says they are not responsible?
It is the workshops responsibility!

When you hand over your car to them for servicing, as a standard practice all workshops mark any exisitng damage, fuel quantity and mats etc on the job card, they also ask you to sign at the bottom of the job card, where it says: "The car will be repaired at the customer's risk and the workshop will not be responsible for any damage caused by the workshop or its staff".

So in case of any damage they do try and get rid of you by showing your signature on that, however you have to be adamant about them having to fix any damage they caused. Legally, such a one sided agreement holds no value, it is just a cheap way to avoid having to fix their own mistakes.
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