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Old 9th October 2006, 18:49   #1
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In a major victory for an owner who was sold a defective car, a consumer court has directed Tata Motors to pay Rs 7.68 lakh, including refund and compensation, as the vehicle failed to pass pollution tests even after several efforts to rectify the the problem.
Holding Tata guilty of selling a defective Safari to Santosh Kataria, a west Delhi resident, State Consumer Commission said: ‘‘A consumer purchases new commodities expecting that they will function without any trouble for at least a few years.’’
Tata claimed that an allegation of manufacturing defect should be proved by an ‘‘expert evidence’’ before giving benefit to the car owner. However, Justice Kapoor refused the claim, saying that when conditions were self-explanatory, an expert opinion was not required.
‘‘By compelling the consumer to go to the garage every now and then to get the defect rectified...which caused him mental agony, tension and harassment as well as loss of money and time which cannot be assessed in terms of money..,’’ Justice Kapoor said, the company was liable to pay Rs 7.43 lakh as refund besides compensation of Rs 25,000 for mental agony and harassment.
Kataria said in her complain that her Tata Safari, bought in October 2005, was emitting excessive smoke and the defect persisted even after repeated repairs.
Aggrieved over the district forum’s decision in favour of Kataria, Tata Motors appealed to the commission, which slightly modified the forum’s order and asked it to pay Rs 7.43 lakh as refund besides
compensation of Rs 25,000 for mental agony and harassment.

--Times Of India, Delhi, October 9
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Old 9th October 2006, 19:09   #2
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dont u think 25k for mental agony & harrassment is a piddly sum to teach the TATAs something? two more zeros should have done the trick though.
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Old 10th October 2006, 11:12   #3
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Exactly my thought
The compensation should be more than the refund amount.
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Old 10th October 2006, 14:24   #4
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The first Tata Safari that I saw in early 1998 was emitting thick black smoke and I said to myself "How come a brand new SUV is so polluting?" Afterwards, I saw more Safaris doing the same thing, more or less. Since I used to notice a lot less smoke in Sumos, I concluded that the higher smoke of Safari was attributable to the vehicle's higher weight putting too much stress on the engine.

The visible smoke emission in Indicas is a lot less than on pre-DICOR Safaris. Yet, on Indica Users Group at Yahoo.com, there are inumerable posts about Tata vehicles (Indicas as well as Safaris) failing in PUC tests and being fined as a consequence. There are also said to be some Tata Motors 'Guidelines' regarding how to get your vehicle passed in a PUC test: switch off AC, insert the tube in the silencer shaft only after the engine has been on for a few minutes, etc.

The initial lot of the new Safari DICOR also emitted high smoke but the problem was rectified soon after recalibrating the EGRS settings.

Probably, all this was part of the truck maker's learning curve in making cars and one hopes their new vehicles will be glitch-free.

The court verdict sure is welcome.

Last edited by directinjection : 10th October 2006 at 14:28.
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Old 10th October 2006, 14:35   #5
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Quote:
The compensation should be more than the refund amount.
In such a situation, the key for any consumer should be to minimise losses. Keeping that in mind, the court judgement is very fair.
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Old 10th October 2006, 15:38   #6
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well, what about interest on 7.43 lakhs for one year ? at 8%, it comes to 59,440/-. this way the compensation is not at all enough.
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Old 10th October 2006, 15:44   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esteem_lover
well, what about interest on 7.43 lakhs for one year ? at 8%, it comes to 59,440/-. this way the compensation is not at all enough.
But the consumer has used the car for that period, its a different thing that the PUC test has failed? With the price reduction, they would probably be able to buy a higher end variant with this money.....lucky guys I'd say! Also, marginally better quality available now!

Last edited by suman : 10th October 2006 at 15:46.
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Old 10th October 2006, 15:44   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO
In such a situation, the key for any consumer should be to minimise losses. Keeping that in mind, the court judgement is very fair.
Agreed. With the current laws, the judgement is fair. But, looking closer, I see this as a settlement which should have done out of court, rather than a judgement. The status quo is re-established, the buyer gets his money back and the seller gets his stuff back.

But where is the punishment to the culprit and compensation for the agony?
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