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Old 6th May 2013, 08:52   #1
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Default Chandigarh consumer redressal commission orders 6-Month jail term for Tata Motors MD

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The Chandigarh consumer redressal commission has ordered a 6-month jail term for Tata Motors managing director Karl Slym.

The commission has also slapped a penalty against him. The action by the consumer commission reportedly is on the back of Tata Motor’s failure to comply with a notice to replace faulty parts of a newly-sold Tata Nano.
Source: News link.

Most likely, he's not going to jail any time soon (or ever) but still glad to see the court coming down heavily on top execs.

Last edited by moralfibre : 6th May 2013 at 09:23. Reason: Reformatting
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Old 6th May 2013, 09:17   #2
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Default re: Chandigarh consumer redressal commission orders 6-Month jail term for Tata Motors MD

I won't be surprised if this turns out to be the 'tipping point' for the auto industry in India. High time the manufacturers start treating the customers fairly.

Happy to see that the top-boss is held accountable and not some easy target like the customer-service-manager or someone at the dealership.

PS: Nothing against Karl as a person or a professional. He is one of the better things that has happened to Tata Motors in recent times.
My comment is purely about the top-exec 'position' being held accountable.

Last edited by SDP : 6th May 2013 at 09:18.
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Old 6th May 2013, 09:33   #3
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Yep, tweeted to him asking for an informal 'disclaimed' version of their part of the story. Whether TATA or Skoda, every car maker has some strengths and constraints, for this, they should create an informal channel of communication and connect to customers explaining what they can and cannot do, or what they think happened in certain cases.

Before it was a TATA Sumo, now it's Nano, next it'll be Skoda, and someone else further on. Better they devise a decent route to amicably sort issues and even save on spending to rebuild their brand. Tata launched 'Rapid Resolutions' to some such effect specifically for Aria, so hopefully others will follow suit.
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Old 6th May 2013, 09:43   #4
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Default re: Chandigarh consumer redressal commission orders 6-Month jail term for Tata Motors MD

Will probably be like a suspended sentence. Also from what I did read of the case (with due respect to the courts) it does not really seem to be fair to hold the MD accountable in this manner except as a symbolic manner or maybe the newspapers are not really presenting the main reason why the court decided on such a sentence. It will obviously be appealed in a higher court if the sentence is indeed enforced. It seemed more on an decision to punish the apparent disregard of court and this could get them acting fast enough.

Overall this a good things from the point of view of making manufacturers accountable. But in this case felt that the financial punishment and hence the award to the complainant was not significant enough. They should have been asked to give him a replacement with interest + a penalty instead of just correcting the vehicle and a token penalty.
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Old 6th May 2013, 09:58   #5
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Default re: Chandigarh consumer redressal commission orders 6-Month jail term for Tata Motors MD

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Originally Posted by ACM View Post
Also from what I did read of the case (with due respect to the courts) it does not really seem to be fair to hold the MD accountable in this manner except as a symbolic manner or maybe the newspapers are not really presenting the main reason why the court decided on such a sentence.
In case of any consumer issue it is normal for the consumer courts to implicate the chairman/MD of the company.

For example there are strict laws regarding the printing of MRP on all products and if at first there is any discrepancy, the manager of the manufacturing plant is sent a notice but failure to comply to the notice would result in the top person getting a jail sentence.
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Old 6th May 2013, 10:01   #6
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Default re: Chandigarh consumer redressal commission orders 6-Month jail term for Tata Motors MD

Absolute Rubbish!! This is nothing but a try to get some unwanted media attention.

Why punish Karl Slym for something that maybe the dealers or someone from the local branch is responsible for?

Quote:
On their part, they claim that despite repeated attempts to pay the consumer compensation and despite repairing the car, they did not receive any co-operation from him.
The local brands such as TATA, M&M Maruti are much better when it comes to warranty related issues than the likes of the Germans! (Skoda) ring a bell?

Why cant the court do the same for fellow member harish who has been struggling for years now ? His car was fitted with fake parts from an A.S.S!

Last edited by moralfibre : 6th May 2013 at 10:44. Reason: Changing which to why.
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Old 6th May 2013, 11:11   #7
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Default re: Chandigarh consumer redressal commission orders 6-Month jail term for Tata Motors MD

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Originally Posted by EagleEye View Post
In case of any consumer issue it is normal for the consumer courts to implicate the chairman/MD of the company.

For example there are strict laws regarding the printing of MRP on all products and if at first there is any discrepancy, the manager of the manufacturing plant is sent a notice but failure to comply to the notice would result in the top person getting a jail sentence.
Agree, am aware, but am actually disagreeing with the law itself being correct on this aspect. It is just that I feel this is not an appropriate law and that the MD should not be pulled up for all actions. I agree for certain things like PF etc. it is appropriate to pull up the MD though. I also do agree that if the MD is not held accountable then lower down someone else may be made a scape goat. But a midway path like holding the head of service accountable would have been the best action in this case along with the MD as well but to a lesser degree.

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Why punish Karl Slym for something that maybe the dealers or someone from the local branch is responsible for?

The local brands such as TATA, M&M Maruti are much better when it comes to warranty related issues than the likes of the Germans! (Skoda) ring a bell?
Actually the MD of the dealer too has been similarly sentenced for the same period. - But they are no longer dealers for TATA right now.

Yep the local brands like TATA and M&M or even the pseudo local Maruti Suzuki do much better on warranty related issues. But they too are not as pro customer as compared to the western world. All these brands (including the German/European, Jap, Korean) would be much more customer friendly if we were a developed nation. The regulations here let them get way with shoddy support and claims disbursement.

Last edited by ACM : 6th May 2013 at 11:12.
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Old 6th May 2013, 11:37   #8
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Default re: Chandigarh consumer redressal commission orders 6-Month jail term for Tata Motors MD

Ha ha, the company spokesperson has conveniently ignored the fact that the company has ignored the courts notice and instead put the blame on the customer for non co-operation. How convenient !!!

Karl Slym should be held accountable, since he is eventually responsible for the working of his company. Surely the court in its wisdom has given the company a legal notice, which should have been complied with. Failure to do so will or should attract punitive action.

Unfortunately, what will actually happen is that the company will appeal for a stay order, which will be granted and the case will drag on for many more years. However, the fact that the court has sent such a strong message is a very positive development, and hopefully some of the more responsive companies will understand that the tide is turning, and will mend their ways.

Hopefully customers will get a better deal in the future, thanks to this case.
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Old 6th May 2013, 13:08   #9
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Default re: Chandigarh consumer redressal commission orders 6-Month jail term for Tata Motors MD

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Originally Posted by ACM View Post
Agree, am aware, but am actually disagreeing with the law itself being correct on this aspect. It is just that I feel this is not an appropriate law and that the MD should not be pulled up for all actions.
I feel the MD (of any firm) should be fully 100% held accountable for whatever anyone in his company does officially.

It's the processes and systems followed by a company that allows anything to happen there, and these processes and systems are ultimately owned by the top person.

The case in question is about replacement of faulty parts. I am sure it was not the discretion of the service manager to change or not change the faulty parts, there would have been some process followed by the company that dictated that it not be changed. Even IF it was the discretion of the service manager to not change the parts, ultimately the blame rests with the MD for giving the service manager the option of not serving the customer fairly.

So yes, in all cases, the MD should be accountable for everything done by a company. He can then pass down the appropriate 'sentences' to the actual people responsible.


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Originally Posted by ACM View Post
All these brands (including the German/European, Jap, Korean) would be much more customer friendly if we were a developed nation. The regulations here let them get way with shoddy support and claims disbursement.
Exactly.
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Old 6th May 2013, 14:36   #10
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Default re: Chandigarh consumer redressal commission orders 6-Month jail term for Tata Motors MD

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Originally Posted by EagleEye View Post
I feel the MD (of any firm) should be fully 100% held accountable for whatever anyone in his company does officially.

It's the processes and systems followed by a company that allows anything to happen there, and these processes and systems are ultimately owned by the top person.


Exactly.
Not everything is controlled by the MD also its very difficult for the MD to keep an eye on 1 car.
By this logic shouldn't the top brass of the Gov/police also be prosecuted the same way? Because some lower levels guys get caught in land scams or some other scams ?
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Old 6th May 2013, 16:11   #11
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Default re: Chandigarh consumer redressal commission orders 6-Month jail term for Tata Motors MD

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Originally Posted by Captain Slow View Post
Not everything is controlled by the MD also its very difficult for the MD to keep an eye on 1 car.
By this logic shouldn't the top brass of the Gov/police also be prosecuted the same way? Because some lower levels guys get caught in land scams or some other scams ?
Absolutely!
There is no point of someone sitting in the top seat if he cannot assume the overall responsibility of running his department/division/firm properly.

Of course, if the scam is done for personal benefit then it is a criminal offence by that particular person, and that has nothing to do with the company or department as a whole. That's why I mentioned the word "officially" in my post. This is obviously an official decision here in this case.
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Old 6th May 2013, 16:56   #12
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Default re: Chandigarh consumer redressal commission orders 6-Month jail term for Tata Motors MD

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Originally Posted by Captain Slow View Post
Not everything is controlled by the MD also its very difficult for the MD to keep an eye on 1 car.
But the issue is not about the MD keeping an eye on one car. The issue is that Mr.Karl Slym, being the MD of his company failed to respond to a legal notice issued by the consumer court. I am sure he had a legal team which received the notice, but conveniently forgot to comply with the honorable courts directives. This is the reason for the courts decision to award a 6 month jail term.

Ultimately, the buck has to stop somewhere. Too many faulty Aria's and Nano's have to result in some punitive action for the MD, no?
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Old 6th May 2013, 23:49   #13
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Default re: Chandigarh consumer redressal commission orders 6-Month jail term for Tata Motors MD

While I'm not sure the MD will go to jail (or needs to go to jail) the message has been sent. Loud and clear!

Most dealerships are franchisees and the parent brand (company) doesn't necessarily have full control. While pressure from high up in the company should definitely influence the dealer, its not always the case.

Regardless of what happens in this case, I hope there are heavy fines so companies have become more customer oriented, at least on the face of things. Instead of worrying so much about their profits.

(Though I'm a huge fan of what the TATA group has done for Indians and India, in general)
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Old 7th May 2013, 11:28   #14
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Default re: Chandigarh consumer redressal commission orders 6-Month jail term for Tata Motors MD

Yet again maintain a bigger compensation to the individual would have paved the way for more people to actually make the effort to raise their problems to the courts. The MD seems to be being punished for not acting fast enough on a court judgement and that is a different matter. But the more the courts act tough on the not just car but also other product manufacturers for defective products and poor service and make them take a financial hit the more Indians will fight for their cause.
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Old 7th May 2013, 12:46   #15
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Default re: Chandigarh consumer redressal commission orders 6-Month jail term for Tata Motors MD

This is typical of how the law works in India, it is no wonder that foreign companies are wary of doing business here.

I think it is silly to put the MD in jail just on the basis of a single complaint. I think the court should set a deadline to allow the company to solve the problem. Simply putting the MD in jail does not solve the problem of either the customer or the company.

Some crimes should be taken seriously like say factories that pollute the environment. You should see how sugar factories in North India pollute the rivers. I live in U.P. so I know first hand. Most of the small rivers and streams are polluted by these factories. These factories simply drain the untreated residue waste into the rivers.

I wonder where the law is in such cases. Why are such factories allowed to function ?? Why do the MDs of these factories not brought to task ??
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