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Old 13th February 2009, 10:53   #16
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Yes we are. The reasons may be many fold:

1. Throwback on the old days when you waited 5+ years for the Amby and 10+ for the FIAT/Premier. You considerend yourself lucky when you turn finally came.

2. Slow judicial system. Even consumer courts are bogged down.

3. Only one dealership for most brands in all but the biggest cities. No real options.
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Old 13th February 2009, 10:55   #17
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Some Company's take us(customers) for granted.. you are absolutely right TSK, we are doing the company a favour by buying from them.Its not like we won the car for free from some game show or something.
The Major Culprits i feel are Skoda and Tata.
we already are getting ripped off by the extra taxes we pay for vehicles here.People in african and extremly underdevloped countrys pay lessers for cars than us.
even though we pay through our Nose for the car/truck etc We donot get the peace of mind that people in the US or other devloped countrys enjoy.
Ans is Yes we are too tolerant
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Old 13th February 2009, 10:55   #18
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Originally Posted by Superleggera View Post
Nice thread tsk ! Two reasons I can think of -

Partly because of the inefficient judiciary system what we have in India. No one has time to run behind the consumer courts which would take ages to give verdict on a complaint, so no one bother s(or donít have much choice) incase of not-very-serious quality issues.
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Originally Posted by HappyWheels View Post
And yes, as mentioned by SuperLeggera, without a proper backing from the judiciary, how long do you think any entity will fight against a system to correct it!
I am not talking about law or consumer court case here at all. Even when penning down reviews, people are accepting faults as something that is okay and given, not something which needs to be rectified and shows failure on part of the manufacturer

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Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
TSK1979, a very nice thread.

You have pinpointed to a very basic problem that is rampant. The problem is cheating. But there are many reasons for this. An average person manages to buy a car after mid 30's of age. At that time the social concern and social pattern make the person overlook many factors. The excitement is too much as owning a car would be an achievement as far as our society goes. More the social patter is such that people offer sympathy but not support. If a person tell his relatives/friends, etc about the problem he has with car, the first reaction will be a sadistic smile and words " dude you got cheated, never do this and that ". This and that are just joking words. This is part of fear of revealing about a defective car or irritating reliability.

Now comes the manufacturer part. They are infact also corrupted it seems. Crash an Accord made in India and one made in US. Do this for all the cars available internationally and we will know the reality. IMO to a very big margin corruption is responsible for this also. Even if the manufacturer wants to make a move, the person/s affected by this move will use contacts. I have heard of this a lot. Very very complex sitution.

Now the dealers. In short, we can say they are people with good contacts and money. An average person cannot go head on with them.

All these factors lead to a situation where the average car buyer will be resilient by force. Inadvertently he accepts the harsh reality and goes on with it.

The final factor is operating conditions. No offence meant to anyone, but here I have seen people call their SUV as truck/bull, etc. Bring them to my area and within a month everything in that will fall off and rattles will come up. The roads are too bad. In monsoon even ambulance does get stuck up here in my area. An example: During our 65K kms with Maruti 800, only once were the lower arms changed in front suspension. After this dad started using car as his daily transport. Last one year and we have 8 lower arms to be thrown away. You get the idea.

I have brought that truck/bull into conversation just to prove that the operating conditions are so bad that even SUV that are well built with good suspensions are not able to cope up with road conditions, how can we expect cars with less suspension travel and not so well built, cope up with our roads. Rattles mostly come up because of operating conditions. A few cars are exception though.


NOTE : I have brought SUVs just to prove that no car can avoid having rattles considering road condition manily. No offence meant to anyone.
Because road is bad does not mean that car should rattle. Thats another tolerance thing. Blame the roads. I mean roads did not turn bad overnight. Moreover 90% of the cars run on average bad roads,not offroad trails. I have seen cars done 50K kms in India which do not rattle. And they are not Toyota and honda. I have seen old zen's(some cars) which do not rattle. Which means that with adequate quality control its possible to create a car which takes our roads

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Originally Posted by joslicx View Post
This attitude maybe because there is no faith in our Judicial system in India. Even if you wanted to, lets say sue the manufacturer do you think its easy?

For smaller niggles like rattles etc the conditions of our roads are also lot responsible. I think more than cars, the general condition of roads in cities (and even highways), traffic patterns (no respect to rules, there are no concept of traffic lights in most smaller places even), vehicle abuse (e.g. bad quality of petrol/diesel, no quality control of replacement parts, excessive use of clutch/brakes/accelerator etc) are much more of a problem. In comparison, cars nowdays are without doubt much better than ever!

I would say bad roads contribute to a lot of problems with cars (things like squeaks or rattles or probably even parts breaking apart.) It probably is not possible to design a reliable/rattle-free car for India. I negotiate 100+ craters of various shapes and sizes in my daily 10 KM commute to my office in Noida (this when all roads were laid brand new last year! One month of rains and its all patches of tar here and there!)
Again I would repeat here. There are many cars running in metros which see pretty decent roads, and they rattle. Let me tell you driving conditions in cities like San francisco are much much tougher than the average indian car will encounter. Imagine doing hill driving at city speeds. Yet there are cars which are running strong at 150,000 miles with slight rattle of some door handle etc., I have driven rental cars done 40K miles, and they feel like brand new. And remember rental cars are the most abused. People do donuts, revv up unnecessarily, apply abrupt brakes, and generally abuse the car because its not their. Yet these cars run pretty good. The engineering tolerance levels are built to last abuse also.

I have worked in silicon design. When chips are designed, nobody designs them to work at an ideal 10 degree C or so. They are designed to withstand high temperatures and hot summers. You basically overengineer. This is called quality. Quality which is the right of the consumer, quality which we do not demand. Heck if somebody else points out the faults he/she is termed as "ABC brand hater" blah blah.
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Old 13th February 2009, 10:57   #19
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Yes you are right. It's about mindset. For my dad, for whom waiting for a few years to get a rattling padmini was a norm, the new cars with a short delivery span and fewer problems (compared to the fiat) is a blessing. Its difficult to change this mindset. I remember after i bought my safari, i had a lot of niggling problems with my car and everytime i used to dash off a letter to the company. After a while i decided that i will approach the consumer forum, but again my dad and friends said don't get into this, will take time and money and effort, etc. Finally i landed up not doing anything and sold the car off in 2years.
The point i'm trying to make is that unless we as consumers don't make the car companies pay for either "oversights" or defects, they will not improve. And frankly why would they? Unless you don't prod a donkey with a stick, it will not move!
Also, i know i will face a lot of flak for my next statement, i sometimes wish that we had those "ambulance chaser" lawyers. Not for accident issues but for this. Put a claim on the company and if you win the lawyer takes a percentage.
And as aaggoswami said, things have to improve as a whole. Not only cars, but also infrastructure. Using my donkey example, a donkey will not move if he is on the edge of a ravine, how much ever you prod him! Cars here have to be manufactured with a stiffer suspension due to the road conditions. Thus, more jerks will get transfered to cabin directly causing loosening of parts and rattles faster. Also cars with soft suspensions will have suspension problems due to the roads. So this is a double edged sword for the manufacturers too. What set up to give?
But, again talking a little OT, i have sat in a lot of friends imported true SUVs and they have not rattled for tens of thousands of kilometers... It's usually the local ones that have a tendency to rattle after a few hundred kms.
Another reason i think of this is that the manufacturers do a lot of cost cutting to keep final costs down. This is because the indian consumer is driven by price and not by quality and safety. Thus the door mouldings and rubbers get hard very quickly and cause squeaks and rattles. This is just one example, but applies across the board.

Last edited by Tejas@perioimpl : 13th February 2009 at 11:05.
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Old 13th February 2009, 11:05   #20
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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
So the question I am asking here is, is the average Indian consumer too tolerant, and is willing to accept poor quality after sale service/poor product quality/lousy service?
Of course we are tolerant. Beggers can't be choosers, do we have an option other than tolerate?

However, a couple of points here -
  • Perhaps its also to do with the lack of enforcement of free & fair pricing. Manufacturers have the freedom to price based on competition & not on what the cost should be. For example, the "soon to be launched" Fortuner - same platform as the Innova though a better engine. No justification whatsoever to be priced at 20 lacs plus. But they will & they will get away with it. Why? Look at the Endeavour & the Captiva & the CRV and you'll know why.
  • Are we saying that such problems do not exist in other countries? Wrong! Take a look at some SUV & other forums & you'll realize that there are a hell of a lot of cases out there where reputed manufacturers push back costs & responisbilities to the customer, do not honor warranty etc. And I'm talking reputable manufacturers here. So, why complain about India only?
As quite a few people have already said, what choice to we have when the judiciary is screwed up & we are tolerant about pretty much every other "basic" necessity not being available?
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Old 13th February 2009, 11:06   #21
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You buy a 5 lakh car to go on and on, on your daily commutes. Whether it handles well on the race track, why do you even care. How many of you have ever even stood on a race track, or watched a track race in person. Yet somehow the being quicker to 100kmph by 1 second is more important than reaching the destination??

So the question I am asking here is, is the average Indian consumer too tolerant, and is willing to accept poor quality after sale service/poor product quality/lousy service? does the average buyer think that just because the door does not fall of if I close it too hard its a great car, or just because the seats and suspension is very comfortable, its okay to have poor electronics? Or just because the car is "great handler/Built like a tank/looks like a beast/fastest 0-100 in its class", it makes it a great car irrespective of the lousy service that is bestowed at service stations?
TSK, Awesome points! You are bang on!! This is typical Indian attitude!! I am not blaming anyone but we Indians have lived through the history of supression and high handedness and the science of 'Genetic Mutations' have gifted us this attitude of "adjusting/living through/accomodating/pardoning/defending" the wrong doings of various elements in life!!Part of which is our Cars now for US!!
I would love the consitution to be amended to suit the future times and generations and have accountability in all facets of life!!
Good thought leader you ARE!!
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Old 13th February 2009, 11:08   #22
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in a lot of cases. people accept these faults because there is no option. we dont have any lemon laws in india, manufacturers and ASC's tend to ignore minor faults, and legal recourse is not easy - even people who have taken the manufacturers to courts for serious flaws havent met with much sucess. take drpullockaran and akroy for instance.

Unless it becomes possible to hold the manufaturers responsible for their faults and enforce it, nothing can be done about it, and they'll continue to fleece the customers
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Old 13th February 2009, 11:11   #23
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Originally Posted by architect View Post
2. Just out of curiousity, don't cars breakdown in other countries? Is there a parameter to judge the quality and reliability through different countries?
Yes cars do break down in other countries, its just that the customers are not forgiving. Its not something which is accepted by people that easily.
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As quite a few people have already said, what choice to we have when the judiciary is screwed up & we are tolerant about pretty much every other "basic" necessity not being available?
Can't do anything about judiciary. But if our car is not reliable, we can atleast write in the review that the car is not good. Rather than, my fuel pump failed, but the car is wonderful because I get so much driving pleasure!
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Old 13th February 2009, 11:15   #24
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Originally Posted by architect
Just out of curiousity, don't cars breakdown in other countries? Is there a parameter to judge the quality and reliability through different countries?
Forget other countries, let us talk about India itself. I see that you have a Pulsar that is 3.5 years old that has done 40K kms. I would be surprised if it broke down even once in all these 3.5 years. Running out of petrol doesn't count. Infact, while I am not a Bajaj admirer, I would expect the same infallibility for 5 or more years.

My CD 100 has done close to 1lakh kms and is 13.5 years old. All I do is change oil every 3K kms and a yearly service at local mechanic. In all these years, not a single breakdown. Infact, it starts at the first kick like it did when new. Which is why I still keep it though people (even family) think I must be odd to use such an old bike. Ofcourse it has aged, but what has not been lost is reliability.

Same applies to most car brands available in India. So, yes, cars are not supposed to breakdown or parts to fail atleast in the first 5 years of ownership or more, with all scheduled services done properly. I have had around 18 years of trouble-free experience with a car, which only ended due to my stupid decision of converting it to LPG.

Last edited by supremeBaleno : 13th February 2009 at 11:18.
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Old 13th February 2009, 11:27   #25
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Off-course we are tolerant, forget about a car upon which you have spent a hefty amount of your earning but how can you tolerate the bad roads when you are paying your taxes confidently. Don't you get fined when file your returns late at times... why.. what for ?? So as the nation's progress getting late as we are not filing return ontime. So why shouldn't we get the claim from government departments of not using our taxes appropriately. We are fined for crossing the red-lights but who should be fined if redlights are not working. We are fined for racing our car above 60km/hr but have you ever heard a person been fined fpr crawling @ 30km/hr in middle of highway.

The core of such tolerances is because our government and judicial system which should be a fast and to-the-point rather then lazy and un-thoughtful which hangs a case for years and giving a positive decision towards one who is powerful somehow !!
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Old 13th February 2009, 11:27   #26
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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Can't do anything about judiciary. But if our car is not reliable, we can atleast write in the review that the car is not good. Rather than, my fuel pump failed, but the car is wonderful because I get so much driving pleasure!
Yes, but as long as the facts (as in the faults) are stated clearly, people are entitled to their own opinion aren't they? A fuel pump packing up will really not decrease driving pleasure for the remaining time - "wonderful" or not is again an individual opinion & highly subjective.

Also, when you say
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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Yes cars do break down in other countries, its just that the customers are not forgiving. Its not something which is accepted by people that easily.
are you not indirectly pointing to judiciary? What option does a customer have - the judiciary. Or is there something else?

Last edited by suman : 13th February 2009 at 11:31.
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Old 13th February 2009, 11:40   #27
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I think the thread originator has raised extremely valid points. Proven again and again that a rational customer should look for long term reliability (absence of minor and major problems) than warranties and ubiquitous service stations. The hassle of going to a service station (inspite of free resolution and close proximity) is much larger than the benefit of not going at all.

Rattling is unforgivable in a new car. However, given our road conditions, it is inevitable. But other problems should not happen so soon.
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Old 13th February 2009, 11:45   #28
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Proven again and again that a rational customer should look for long term reliability (absence of minor and major problems) than warranties and ubiquitous service stations. The hassle of going to a service station (inspite of free resolution and close proximity) is much larger than the benefit of not going at all.
I don't think any sane person would willingly compromise - cost of the (reliable) brand plays a huge role here. Not everyone can afford to spend 12 lacs to buy a Toyota because its supremely reliable. What would a person who has a fixed Budget of (say) 8 lacs do? Not buy a car or buy whatever best meets his needs (maybe subjective)?

Lets be realistic here
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Old 13th February 2009, 11:48   #29
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I don't think any sane person would willingly compromise - cost of the (reliable) brand plays a huge role here. Not everyone can afford to spend 12 lacs to buy a Toyota because its supremely reliable.
Sorry if the implication was that I can afford to buy a Toyota. However, even if I have to buy a cheaper car, what would I buy-a reliable car or a so-so car with extended warranties and huge service network.
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Old 13th February 2009, 11:51   #30
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Originally Posted by suman View Post
I don't think any sane person would willingly compromise - cost of the (reliable) brand plays a huge role here. Not everyone can afford to spend 12 lacs to buy a Toyota because its supremely reliable. What would a person who has a fixed Budget of (say) 8 lacs do? Not buy a car or buy whatever best meets his needs (maybe subjective)?

Lets be realistic here
I agree. Customers buy the products with quality issues, knowing fully well about the shortcomings of the product. It is a choice they make and price of the product plays a huge role in this decision.
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