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Old 18th March 2014, 10:13   #1
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Default Skoda ordered to pay 7.9 lakhs to Laura owner

Hope to see more (justifiably) aggrieved Skoda owners get similar respite by the authorities.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...w/32223657.cms

PANAJI: The Goa state consumer disputes redressal commission has directed car maker Skoda India Limited and its dealer in Taleigao, Priority Automobiles(I) Private Limited, to repair a customer's car at their own cost within 30 days of the order with extended warranty for the replaced parts.

The consumer commission also directed the car maker and his dealer to pay the aggrieved citizen, Anant Malik of Latambarcem, Bicholim, a sum of 7.9 lakh as compensation within 30 days failing which they have to pay interest at the rate of 9% till payment is done. The order was issued by consumer commission president N A Britto recently.

Malik purchased a high-end diesel car Laura F/L Elegance 2.0 from the dealer in September 2011 for over 16 lakh. The car had a two-year warranty. But on September 4, 2012, when the car had done about 35,844 km, the car suddenly stopped at Naibag, Pernem.

It had to be towed to the dealer's service centre at Taleigao. Though Patil again visited the workshop the next day, the dealer did not tell him what problem the car had.

Exactly 56 days later, Malik got a call from the dealer informing that the cost of repairs would amount to 2.10 lakh. The dealer said the problem was adulteration of fuel and this was not covered under warranty. Malik questioned why it took 56 days to inform that water had mixed with the fuel.

The dealer then reduced the estimate to 1.18 lakh plus taxes, wherein the company would bear 50% cost of parts.

But in December 2012, Malik sent a legal notice demanding that the company repair the car free of cost as it was under warranty.

Malik stated that he had to spend 7.3 lakh to hire another vehicle when his car was out of order and that he also had to purchase another vehicle, a Toyota Innova, after that.

After hearing arguments from the lawyers of both, the consumer commission noted that if Malik's car stopped because water entered the fuel tank, the liability to repair the car during the warranty period, was entirely of the car company.

The commission ruled that the car manufacturer/dealer "ought to have repaired the car and given to the complainant, free of charge, as the car was under two year warranty."

The commission also criticized the dealer for demanding 50% cost of parts from Malik. Stating that the car manufacturer/dealer were "deficient in service,"the commission ruled in favour of Malik.
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Old 18th March 2014, 10:37   #2
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Default re: Skoda ordered to pay 7.9 lakhs to Laura owner

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Originally Posted by Agarwaka View Post
After hearing arguments from the lawyers of both, the consumer commission noted that if Malik's car stopped because water entered the fuel tank, the liability to repair the car during the warranty period, was entirely of the car company.
The above bit is really interesting. Does this mean that this judgement can be used as a precedent now onwards for all these European car makers denying warranty stating this usual "adulterated fuel" excuse? Also hopefully another member recently had been dealing with a similar issue with his Yeti AFAIK. Can he also probably make use of this to help fight his case better?

Another important thing to note is that the judgement came out pretty fast i.e. within 2 years. This can atleast motivate a lot of buyers to stop getting bullied and take the legal route.
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Old 18th March 2014, 10:41   #3
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Default re: Skoda ordered to pay 7.9 lakhs to Laura owner

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Another important thing to note is that the judgement came out pretty fast i.e. within 2 years. This can atleast motivate a lot of buyers to stop getting bullied and take the legal route.
Absolutely! Provided this approach is adopted consistently across the country. As we know, there are a few TBHPians who've been embroiled in legal wrangles for over 5 years. I'm a layman when it comes to the law, but hope they can use this as a reference in their situations.
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Old 18th March 2014, 10:45   #4
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Default re: Skoda ordered to pay 7.9 lakhs to Laura owner

The thing with all these judgements by consumer courts/consumer protection forums that Manufacturers always drag their feet and appeal in higher courts. Not sure when this poor soul will get his money.
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Old 18th March 2014, 10:49   #5
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Default re: Skoda ordered to pay 7.9 lakhs to Laura owner

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agarwaka View Post
Exactly 56 days later, Malik got a call from the dealer informing that the cost of repairs would amount to 2.10 lakh. The dealer said the problem was adulteration of fuel and this was not covered under warranty. Malik questioned why it took 56 days to inform that water had mixed with the fuel.
BOY O BOY!
Adulterated fuel seems to be the standard canned response from Skoda for all manufacturing defects.

I really wonder why no other makes of vehicle face this problem in such a frequent recurring manner!
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Old 18th March 2014, 11:05   #6
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Default re: Skoda ordered to pay 7.9 lakhs to Laura owner

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
The above bit is really interesting. Does this mean that this judgement can be used as a precedent now onwards for all these European car makers denying warranty stating this usual "adulterated fuel" excuse? Also hopefully another member recently had been dealing with a similar issue with his Yeti AFAIK. Can he also probably make use of this to help fight his case better?

Another important thing to note is that the judgement came out pretty fast i.e. within 2 years. This can atleast motivate a lot of buyers to stop getting bullied and take the legal route.
Hey Mohit

The Consumer Courts have now become much more active than they were before and try and dispose off the cases as soon as possible. As far as the judgment becoming a precedent is concerned, we would have to wait and see if it is appealed by the dealer and Skoda (which they would in all probability). If they lose in appeal, then it surely becomes a precedent. Its a wait and watch till then.

Cheers
Rohan
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Old 18th March 2014, 11:34   #7
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Default re: Skoda ordered to pay 7.9 lakhs to Laura owner

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Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post
The thing with all these judgements by consumer courts/consumer protection forums that Manufacturers always drag their feet and appeal in higher courts. Not sure when this poor soul will get his money.
True they will appeal, but Skoda will have to deposit the compensation money in court they appeal. The owner of the car will continue to get interest. Further if Skoda looses in higher court the compensation may and will go up. I hope consumer court has ruled the case based on strong technical points which will hold its ground in higher court.

High time these car companies become serious about quality of service they give. I see more and more people going to court and at one point it would be easier and cheaper for car manufactures to give honest service.
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Old 18th March 2014, 12:14   #8
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Default re: Skoda ordered to pay 7.9 lakhs to Laura owner

Let us hope the jokers do not go in appeal since then harishv's nightmare may be revisited.
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Old 18th March 2014, 12:32   #9
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Default re: Skoda ordered to pay 7.9 lakhs to Laura owner

Goa is one state where justice is often swift and decisive. I wonder if it has to do with the absence of English Common Law in the state.
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Old 18th March 2014, 12:40   #10
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Default re: Skoda ordered to pay 7.9 lakhs to Laura owner

This is like a trump card these Skoda baboons use everywhere. Sometime back a Skoda Rapid guy right here on teambhp was given the same reason for rejecting a warranty claim.

Skoda you think your cars are space shuttles and rest of Maruti's and Hyundais which run on the same diesel are stone age monsters which can gobble anything and still run but your cars can't ?

Kudos to the Goa court for bringing Skoda to task !
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Old 18th March 2014, 13:12   #11
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Default re: Skoda ordered to pay 7.9 lakhs to Laura owner

A welcome verdict by the court.

It was high time to book these high handed manufactures and make them pay compensation to the aggrieved party. I always wondered why do Skoda/VW bother to sell their cars here if they think the fuel quality is not good! How did they get the homologation done if this was such a huge problem?

Hope Harish's case and that of others can benefit from this judgment.

Last edited by mac187 : 18th March 2014 at 13:13.
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Old 18th March 2014, 14:50   #12
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Default re: Skoda ordered to pay 7.9 lakhs to Laura owner

Certainly a welcome decision. But if the company's track record is to be considered, I am sure they will try to drag it on as long as possible.
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Old 18th March 2014, 16:02   #13
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Default Re: Skoda ordered to pay 7.9 lakhs to Laura owner

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Let us hope the jokers do not go in appeal since then harishv's nightmare may be revisited.
Sir, this is very likely. They will certainly go in for an appeal against this order which means that this nightmare will continue for some more time or may be some years.

But certainly, this kind of judgement brings some ray of hope to the owner. Given the merits of the case, I am sure that the higher courts will not reverse the decision of this bench in a hurry.
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Old 18th March 2014, 16:34   #14
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Default Re: Skoda ordered to pay 7.9 lakhs to Laura owner

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Originally Posted by Agarwaka View Post
The dealer said the problem was adulteration of fuel and this was not covered under warranty.
The above gives one an impression that Skoda was hinting that adulterated fuel (responsibility-Petrol pump/owner) resulted in failure of the engine. On the other hand,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Agarwaka View Post
After hearing arguments from the lawyers of both, the consumer commission noted that if Malik's car stopped because water entered the fuel tank, the liability to repair the car during the warranty period, was entirely of the car company.
Indicates that the fuel got adulterated because of manufacturing defects(water entering the fuel tank).Two different issues entirely! How could Skoda try to fix the blame of water entering the fuel tank to the owner! Unless they were trying to suggest that the owner was careless and did not secure the fuel tank properly. Anyway, all's well that ends well
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Old 18th March 2014, 16:35   #15
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Default Re: Skoda ordered to pay 7.9 lakhs to Laura owner

Standard response. Why does the VAG group sell its cars here if the fuel sold in India is not suitable for their "Superior German engineered cars" ?

It's about time courts took action against the malpractices of Skoda. The amount of compensation too seems realistic. Skoda may drag it on, but atleast the consumer is reasonably assured that his compensation is deposited in the court and earning interest at 9%p.a.

This sends a stern message to automakers that the consumer is no longer a scapegoat for their lemons. Hope it can be used as a citation.

Also, this case shows why people choose workhorses like Innova, however old and powerless the engine or featureless the vehicle may be, its known to be able to take you from A to B reliably even for upto 3 - 4 lakh kms.
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