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Old 18th September 2017, 16:08   #1
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Default Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock

https://thelogicalindian.com/news/maruti-suzuki-fined/

This is just excellent news. Finally the consumer court has ruled against the big corporations. Hope this is my just the start.
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Old 18th September 2017, 16:44   #2
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Default re: Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock

In summary, the court has asked MSIL to honor hydro static Lock under the warranty.
If this is indeed the case, then am I right to interpret that MSIL owners should no longer need to take the "Engine Guard" type add on covers while buying insurance?

Quote:
The court observed, “In case of sudden excessive rain and consequential waterlogging in the area, the consumer is not expected to leave the vehicle in the middle of the road and to swim in the road. The manufacturer while manufacturing the product is under a duty to safeguard the interest of consumer of the vehicle in such conditions and to install safety devices in the vehicle. It is also under a duty to provide free of charges repair in such cases.”

Last edited by Eddy : 20th September 2017 at 14:32. Reason: typo
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Old 18th September 2017, 17:02   #3
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Default re: Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock

Which means - they would soon add the clause explicitly under warranty, if not done yet i.e To be fair, though am a fan of consumerism, in this case i don't think the verdict is technically correct. This i guess has been won more on legal terms and clauses..

Good that courts have made such a decision and gave a small yet significant message to manufacturers that big bro is watching.
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Old 18th September 2017, 17:17   #4
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Default re: Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock

This is a technically incorrect decision by the court. Hope Maruti appeals against it in a higher court. The car manufacturer is not liable for damage to the vehicle if it is used in a condition which is beyond what the car is designed for. For example driving in more than the max permissible water wading depth. The municipal corporation is the real culprit here. For designing roads or not maintaining storm water drains such that water accumulates to a dangerous levels on public roads.

Last edited by Eddy : 20th September 2017 at 14:33. Reason: typo
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Old 18th September 2017, 18:28   #5
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Default re: Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock

To be honest, I am not sure if this thought of mine is a good one or a bit silly, so I'll take the plunge and post it...

If manufacturers are forced to cover this damage, they might consider keeping the water out in the first place. I'm not suggesting that cars should be mistaken for boats; I'm not even suggested that hatchbacks be designed like serious offroaders. I'm trying to keep my thought sensible!

Is there not simple stuff like air-inlet position where manufacturers could make the car more resilient?

And is it just my impression, or is this increasingly a problem of modern cars? Or is it just a case of me seeing more internet these days?
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Old 18th September 2017, 18:40   #6
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Default re: Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock

Maruti Suzuki sells half the cars in India. Till date they would've encountered countless cases of Hydro-static lock with disputing owners & refused repairs under warranty. Can't be that the manual / warranty document can be so loosely drafted so as to not disclaim itself from such carelessness.

Consumers (of any product) who use stuff imprudently & expect manufacturers to provide FOC repairs are the reason why normal buyers face unexpected hurdles in genuine cases.

Rs.60,000/- or repair cost doesn't matter as much as IF by some strange luck, this judgement holds up in the appeals, then MSIL & many car makers are staring at a fairly large number of claims for compensation for FOC repairs denied. Quite unlikely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
...If manufacturers are forced to cover this damage, they might consider keeping the water out in the first place. I'm not suggesting that cars should be mistaken for boats; I'm not even suggested that hatchbacks be designed like serious offroaders. I'm trying to keep my thought sensible!

Is there not simple stuff like air-inlet position where manufacturers could make the car more resilient?...
Definitely! Off late I had read a few Honda iDtec owners faced issues due to Air Intake being at a low level.

There has to be a way to devise a better position that doesn't compromise on the design. But I don't think any manufacturer will make such changes for many reasons (including the fact that they earn healthy revenues from such mistakes by consumers).

Last edited by GrammarNazi : 18th September 2017 at 18:53.
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Old 18th September 2017, 18:44   #7
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Default re: Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock

Quote:
Originally Posted by JediKnight View Post
This is an technically incorrect decision by the court. Hope Maruti appeals against it in a higher court. The car manufacturer is not liable for damage to the vehicle if it is used in a condition which is beyond what the car is designed for. For example driving in more than the max permissible water wading depth. The municipal corporation is the real culprit here. For designing roads or not maintaining storm water drains such that water accumulates to a dangerous levels on public roads.
While it is a technically valid argument, The court's stand that a car should be able to handle typical road conditions ( please note that this is not some flood or cyclone that we are talking about) that are faced in india is equally valid - if other cars can handle it, why can't MSIL's? I remember a similar arguement advanced during drpullockaran's famous indica saga, where tata motors claimed that the vehicle was not designed to drive on inclines as steep as a certain bridge where the doc's car was stalling - the court threw it out. While hydrolock is a sad consequence, my question is, why are cars designed with such low wading depth? It's not as if we are asking for a snorkel on the roof - Is placing the intake a bit higher so hard? I am pretty sure there were other cars going through that road that would have made it through just fine.

I am reminded of that video where an audi breezes through a bunch of flooded bmw's
https://twitter.com/ABC/status/832998851795570688
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Old 18th September 2017, 18:48   #8
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Default re: Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock

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. Although I'm not sure if such an additional clause can be enacted retrospectively so Maruti will probably fight this in a higher court or else a lot of Maruti owners will be quite happy with the precedent set by this case.

Seems like it is Maruti's legal team that put together the warranty clause which fell short here.

Last edited by tsk1979 : 20th September 2017 at 06:54.
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Old 18th September 2017, 18:55   #9
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Default re: Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock

No doubt Maruti's lawyers will be on the job, but there is still the possibility, on challenge, of courts ruling that a contractual term is unreasonable and not enforceable.
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Old 18th September 2017, 20:24   #10
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Default

Stupid logic used.

No fine to municipality involved or the road works....etc. but find easy scapegoat.
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Old 19th September 2017, 14:58   #11
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Default Re: Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock

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.

Quote:
The court observed, “In case of sudden excessive rain and consequential waterlogging in the area, the consumer is not expected to leave the vehicle in the middle of the road and to swim in the road”.
Well, he's not supposed to drive through a waterlogged road in the first place.

Judgements like these are the reason we have 500 point terms & conditions documents that no one reads. By the way, I just went through a Maruti owner's manual and it clearly states:

Quote:
When driving on wet roads, avoid driving through large amount of standing water on the road. Large amount of water entering the engine compartment may cause damage to the engine and or electrical components.

• If stuck in deep water, do not start the engine.

• Water is incompressible substance, water inside engine is harmful to the engine.
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Old 19th September 2017, 15:33   #12
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Default Re: Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post

Judgements like these are the reason we have 500 point terms & conditions documents that no one reads. By the way, I just went through a Maruti owner's manual and it clearly states:
Correct. For the benefit of users, the manual could also mention the depth of water through which the particular car can be safely driven (water wading depth).
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Old 19th September 2017, 15:34   #13
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Default Re: Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
Is there not simple stuff like air-inlet position where manufacturers could make the car more resilient? And is it just my impression, or is this increasingly a problem of modern cars? Or is it just a case of me seeing more internet these days?
I guess a car can be engineered to offer better wading ability by re-positioning the air intake. I think all Range Rovers have air intakes at highest location inside the engine compartment

Name:  RangeRover2_2379455c.jpg
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If it costs too much money, we can expect Maruti to offer air snorkels as standard fitment or as a 'Maruti Genuine Accessory'.

Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock-5kdhm.jpg

Last edited by smartcat : 19th September 2017 at 15:38.
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Old 19th September 2017, 15:43   #14
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Default Re: Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock

Quote:
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.
Seconded.

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.
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Old 19th September 2017, 15:45   #15
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Default Re: Consumer Court rules against Maruti for refusing repair due to hydrostatic lock

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post



Well, he's not supposed to drive through a waterlogged road in the first place.
My view

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.
It should be treated like an accident, something which happened when driving on a "regular road", and not deliberately by the owner.

I believe it should me made the insurance company's liability.

Rgds
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