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Old 19th September 2017, 16:28   #16
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Default Re: Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock

This should have been covered by insurance. Asking manufacturer to pay for act of nature, or incompetence of city corporation is really unfair.

Why do Indian courts always get it wrong when it comes automotive common sense?

1) They got it totally wrong on the sunfilm ban.
2) More powerful car is always at fault, even if the less powerful car caused the accident.
3) Banning diesel cars above 2L, which is not based on any data.

Last edited by GTO : 20th September 2017 at 11:31. Reason: sunfilm :)
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Old 19th September 2017, 16:39   #17
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Default Re: Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock

Consumer courts very often rule in favour of consumers even when the consumer is at fault. Later the High-court overturns the ruling when the manufacturer appeals. So this ruling doesn't mean much. With a strong legal team, not long before Maruti gets a stay and makes the customer collect the repaired vehicle only against a deposit with the high court.

Any way I believe that Indian conditions need some minimum Ground clearance, approach departure angle and air intake level.

Rahul

Last edited by GTO : 20th September 2017 at 11:32. Reason: typos
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Old 19th September 2017, 17:04   #18
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Default Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock

Manufacturers need to make cars for India. They save 100s of crores by just replicating their European models and make them impractical for use in India. They owe a moral responsibility to this point when they charge big bucks.

They should state the wading capacity on the brochure. 99% consumers don't read manuals.

Not that I am advocating driving through floods but if you a stuck in a flood with your family in the car, how would anyone react?

Insurance companies make use of this situation and charge a big add on premium. This practice should be dropped and should be covered under the regular flood insurance. Hope the courts take notice.

We so often see manufacturers even hiding regular data from the consumer. No one seems to know the gross weight of most cars.For example Creta & Tucson. ( you can't hide this data in America)

The other bit is airbags not deploying. Haven't we heard it before? 'The angle of impact was such that it didn't trigger the sensors'. We are in the midst of one of the biggest recalls for faulty airbags. So are we just living on a prayer or just plain lucky? Life saving airbags should have been voluntarily installs to make their cars safer. The govt had to intervene to get them on the way.

Dieselgate by VW. Did they do anything by themselves to correct the corporate blunder. The courts had to force them. They even had lawyers trying to defend themselves.

Zero lemon laws in India. Ask Skoda customers.

I am actually glad that the consumer courts are intervening now. It's good news just after the verdict against Mercedes in the Crompton Greaves case.

I guess this may not be the right verdict but I am glad the courts are now taking this up in a positive way. It will force manufactures into right design and keep them on their toes.

Maruti won't yield, it will be a higher court for the consumer, in this case as there seems a grey area in this verdict.

I for one, am a big advocate of social responsibility, these need to be addressed by the manufacturers, be it automotive or else where. Also the city corporations and governments need to be held responsible for such losses. It's just a car here and shudder to think of the deaths this apathy causes.

We seem to be living in one giant black hole.

Last edited by Arjun Reddy : 19th September 2017 at 17:26.
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Old 19th September 2017, 17:45   #19
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Default Re: Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock

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Originally Posted by Arjun Reddy View Post

Not that I am advocating driving through floods but if you a stuck in a flood with your family in the car, how would anyone react?
(Sorry, replying only to this specific point cause it stands out, usually I'm of the biggest Maruti critics).

To answer that question, depending on the flooding, you are supposed to react in the exact same way as you would to to a burning building - if the flooding starts getting too deep the responsible thing to do is to abandon the car and not start it at all, this is for the safety of the occupants and it also should save your engine. From a pure safety perspective, driving a car through floods is not the smartest thing. No offense meant, just my two cents.

P.S. Since we're discussing flooding and cars I can't help going a bit one of my pet peeves is the lack of removable headrests.

Last edited by da_lowrider : 19th September 2017 at 17:46. Reason: error
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Old 19th September 2017, 18:06   #20
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Default Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock

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Originally Posted by da_lowrider View Post
From a pure safety perspective, driving a car through floods is not the smartest thing. No offense meant, just my two cents.

Sure couldn't agree more. I should have explained better. Like I said 99% don't read manuals and neither do they know that they shouldn't re start a stalled car in water. The instinct would be to restart the car.

I am in no way defending the consumer here, but my rant was on the general apathy of manufacturers. It's the fine print we don't read that always gets us.

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Old 19th September 2017, 20:44   #21
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Default Re: Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock

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Originally Posted by zhopudey View Post
This is just excellent news. Finally the consumer court has ruled against the big corporations. Hope this is my just the start.
No offence, but I believe in this case it was pure negligence on the part of the driver/owner. I don't understand under what logic the court ordered in favor of the owner - but, if it had indeed been the case as mentioned, where the owner drove the car knowingly through flooded roads, the manufacturer is under not compulsion to honor the warranty, IMHO. Warranty primarily covers manufacturing defects and no where any car manufacturers of 'normal' car state that their engines are 'hydro-static lock proof'

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Old 20th September 2017, 02:33   #22
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Default Re: Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock

I see a lot of people here arguing that one should not drive a car in a flood. In my opinion, that's like saying that you should drive safely and avoid accidents. Its all fine in theory, but in practice, accidents happen. So do floods. You set out from office, it starts to rain heavily, and you find yourself at 11 PM at night 2 km from home with a flooded road standing between you and home sweet home. This is the road that is least prone to flood. Uber and ola prices have surged to high heavens and there are no cars available either.
What do you do? I would like to see how many among us would stop and park the car there, and walk through the flood and the rest of the way home

I was in such a situation once, an considering what to do next. After seeing a bunch of taxi indicabs go through successfully, i gathered my wits, put the car in first, revved it up, slipped the clutch to keep the exhaust free from water entry, and somehow managed to get to the other side. Another car who tried to follow me was not as lucky. Is it not a reasonable expectation for someone that their car should be able to pass through water that most other cars can?

Does the Manufactured define flood quantitatively? is there a specific water level beyond which you should not drive? I have driven through water levels where water went up above my axles and the silencer was well submerged. I am not sure how much other cars can take. What I might call light flooding in chennai or trivandrum may scare folks elsewhere. Having lived in a flood prone area, and through a major flood, I have pushed my car to the limits, and managed to get away with it, and from observing indicabs, gotten a fair idea of what my car can and cannot do. your alto or wagon R owner may not have the luxury. Same with a driver who is facing a flood situation for the first time. While leads to
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Originally Posted by AbhiJ View Post
Here is an idea. Make it compulsory to include the water wading depth in the cars official specifications.

That way the owners will know how much water is too much water.

Last edited by greenhorn : 20th September 2017 at 02:38.
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Old 20th September 2017, 06:56   #23
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Default Re: Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock

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Originally Posted by jalajprakash View Post
The court also noticed that Maruti had not mentioned Hydrolock as an exception to warranty. This simply means that Maruti will fix its warranty terms now so that no one can sue them for Hydrolock damage in the future.
I am a bit confused here. Let us say hitting a Deodar tree is not anywhere in the warranty manual. This means, if somebody hits a deodar tree and it damages the vehicle, it should be covered under warranty? For example I backed up my tractor into a tree stump. Nothing happened. But a similar tree stump damaged by Indica. I should have gone to consumer court because Tata never said how fast I can back into a tree stump. After observing a tractor go into a tree stump safely, I think its a fair assumption that Indica should also do the same, but it did not.

Last edited by tsk1979 : 20th September 2017 at 06:58.
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Old 20th September 2017, 07:07   #24
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Default Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock

Although in general I'm very much in favour of consumer protection, I do believe this is going too far. There is something as common sense and it should apply here as well.

I'm reminded of the case where a microwave producer had to pay out huge compensation to somebody who stuck a hamster in the microwave. Apparently, it should have had a sticker don't put your hamster in the microwave. Ridiculous!

The problem is you can't cure stupid, but what is worse if courts ruling put the stupid and the ignorant idiots in the right.

A court in most judicial system can actually define what is considered common sense. Looks like this court raised the bar for stupidity, unfortunately.

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Old 20th September 2017, 10:45   #25
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Default Re: Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
I am a bit confused here. Let us say hitting a Deodar tree is not anywhere in the warranty manual. This means, if somebody hits a deodar tree and it damages the vehicle, it should be covered under warranty? For example I backed up my tractor into a tree stump. Nothing happened. But a similar tree stump damaged by Indica. I should have gone to consumer court because Tata never said how fast I can back into a tree stump. After observing a tractor go into a tree stump safely, I think its a fair assumption that Indica should also do the same, but it did not.
Now that I've read more arguments, I agree that since this is an act of nature and not a defect or failure on the part of the manufacturer it should be covered under insurance not warranty.

Regardless, the court's reasoning is that driving on the road while it starts raining heavily is a normal use case for a passenger car and that a passenger car is expected to fair well in such a scenario. The court might not understand the nuances of what water wading depth is and the steps required to increase it, which is why they ended up siding with the consumer here. Backing into a tree is not a normal use case for a passenger vehicle. Not sure where the tractor factors in

I think the best way for OEMs to save their buyers from such cases would be to install water level sensors inside the engine bay. If the water level rises to such a level where it can possibly damage the engine, then give the driver a warning to shut off the engine at the least. Not following such a warning would then fall on the owner themselves. I'm not aware of any OEMs offering such a warning.
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Old 20th September 2017, 11:48   #26
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Default Re: Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock

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Originally Posted by abhishek46 View Post
For the benefit of users, the manual could also mention the depth of water through which the particular car can be safely driven
That's just opening up a huge can of worms. Will an owner measure the depth of water with a ruler before driving through a flood? What if the road dips a little bit, and the car goes deeper into the water? Indian roads are hardly flat & blemish-free. How will you prove in court that the road you were driving on that evening was flooded with 120 mm of water, and not 150?

We'll also have competition among the manufacturers who will falsely enhance their water wading rating, but say it's under 'ideal' conditions .

And let's not overlook the fact that the depth of water is one thing - the speed you maintain through it is also a contributor to how much your car is damaged. Is a manufacturer expected to specify 100 mm water = 30 kmph, 175 mm water = 20 kmph?

This rating of water wading capacity is meaningless. Heard of luxury SUVs claiming they can handle 800 mm of water? Go ask the engineers if all the components that will still come in contact with water are 100% water-proof? I drive a Jeep that is built for offroading, and still avoid driving through water. Flooding is like cancer for a car.

I once drove my brother-in-law's Freelander through some wet muck in Pawna, stuff that my Mahindra would handle in 2WD mode. Wasn't too deep, wasn't too wet. The same evening, the car threw up all kinds of alerts & warning lights. Had to go to the workshop to have its brakes (sensors IIRC) cleaned up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
I guess a car can be engineered to offer better wading ability by re-positioning the air intake.
Quote:
Originally Posted by VineetG View Post
The issue is that in case of sudden flooding due to rains, or some other man made cause (not in control of the car owner), then it should be covered under standard insurance. We should not be forced to take a separate insurance add on for hydrostatic lock.
Agreed guys.

@ Vineet: Hydrostatic lock is intentionally offered as an add-on since a small % of owners will ever opt for it. And from the insurance company's point of view, those who take that extra coverage will be well aware of flood damage and thus, might be more well-informed in avoiding floods!
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Old 20th September 2017, 13:54   #27
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Default Re: Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock

Illogical reasoning given by the court IMO.
I remember a very old episode of Do or Die program on NGC. Not able to find the English version, but here is the video link in some language (courtesy google search)


It is for a scenario of a Tsunami (or sudden flooding). no matter if you are alone or with family, you are supposed to abandon car and run to a higher ground

I feel sorry for Maruti (I can't believe I'm typing this ), but I'm sure they will get out of this easily in a higher court.
If at all someone other than the owner of the vehicle should cover the expense, it should be the Insurance company; again depending on the type of Insurance that the owner is holding.

Last edited by hemanth.anand : 20th September 2017 at 14:03.
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Old 20th September 2017, 14:00   #28
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Default Re: Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock

A bit off topic, I do wonder what will happen with the electric vehicles, now that government is focusing on EVs strongly. Imagine a Tesla with floor full of battery pack & a motor per wheel, wading into water. What will happen in this case ? Am sure the battery pack will go for a toss, but will it cause electrical malfunction or more worryingly, risk the lives of the passenger(s).

Flood issues may not have been a worry factor for the US designers, where even a puddle of water attracts a 'water over road' signboard. But take the case of developing nation like ours, where every year monsoon simply translates into natural calamity of sorts, mostly thanks to poor infrastructure.
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Old 20th September 2017, 14:14   #29
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Default Re: Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock

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Originally Posted by SR-71 View Post
A bit off topic, I do wonder what will happen with the electric vehicles, now that government is focusing on EVs strongly. Imagine a Tesla with floor full of battery pack & a motor per wheel, wading into water. What will happen in this case ? Am sure the battery pack will go for a toss, but will it cause electrical malfunction or more worryingly, risk the lives of the passenger(s).
This video of Tesla wading into a flooded tunnel made it to CNBC and elicited a tweet from Elon Musk too.



I wonder if Elon Musk was kidding.
https://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/20/tesl...ed-tunnel.html

I guess EVs should be able handle flooded waters better than cars powered by traditional engines (no air intake, no hydrolock)
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Old 20th September 2017, 14:49   #30
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Default Re: Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock

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Originally Posted by SR-71 View Post
Am sure the battery pack will go for a toss, but will it cause electrical malfunction or more worryingly, risk the lives of the passenger(s).
Don't be sure!
Electric components, power units & battery packs are generally the easiest when it comes to water-proofing.

The packaging is generally compact, less on hoses, pipes and ducts & hot metals compared to internal combustion engines. So its not that big a deal. I have seen the Tesla S & X both wade easily through bumper high water (over bottom door sills) without issues in the EU. So certainly doable. Hopefully at costs lower than Tesla cars.


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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
For a change, I'll side up with the manufacturer here and not the car owner. This is a car - not a boat! It's not made to be driven through floods.
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Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post
I feel sorry for Maruti (I can't believe I'm typing this ), but I'm sure they will get out of this easily in a higher court.
If at all someone other than the owner of the vehicle should cover the expense, it should be the Insurance company; again depending on the type of Insurance that the owner is holding.
Absolutely. In fact I don't think this should be covered by insurance either. To me this falls in "routine wear and tear". This is like claiming warranty for TV falling off TV mount when neighbor was hammering nails on the wall from behind. Sheer bad luck, but unfair to ask someone to cover it just like that.

@Hemanth, for a business like Maruti - they shouldn't really go to the higher court. This shouldn't be a big expense for them. Certainly lower than further lawyer fees IMO. They'll pay it, paint a good picture that they obeyed consumer court's order.

And in the next version of owner manuals, we should expect a blanket statement somewhere in bold or in fine-print, that will exclude all kinds of such damages involving water from warranty claims etc. Next time in a case like this, they'll say "Your warranty is void as you took a car wash that day". Simple.

Last edited by Reinhard : 20th September 2017 at 15:00.
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