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Old 24th March 2009, 19:03   #136
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Very thought through post I must say. I am curious to know your thoughts on who is liable for damages - Skoda or the dealer or both?

Let us say the dealer accepts responsibility for putting in spurious parts - does that or does that not make Skoda liable for damages? The dealer is an exclusive authorised dealer for Skoda, can a case be made that Skoda is a willing accomplice? That would be possible if there is evidence linking Skoda and the dealer for spurious parts or something else...further AD has offered "unconditional apology"....I understand that an unconditional apology is considered close to a confession in the court of law. I think prima facie it is indeed no easy task to establish Skoda's culpability.

What do you think?


Last edited by diffsoft : 24th March 2009 at 19:05. Reason: Better communication
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Old 24th March 2009, 19:30   #137
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Originally Posted by Ravveendrra View Post
I write in connection with Harish's post of today.

I presume that the following paragraph came out of the covering letter from Skoda:

"As discussed with you there have been parts found spurious/non genuine in your car at the time of our investigation. However we would like to mention that the parts found spurious/non genuine cannot be ascertained that they have been fitted at our dealership. As a special gesture and goodwill we at Skoda keeping in mind customer satisfaction would like to inform you that the below parts have been replaced in your car free of cost. We at Skoda would be retaining the replaced parts for further investigation."

If so, it is absolutely in order. If does not jeopardise Harish's case for damages. The above passage cannot be read to mean that Harish is certifying that the parts were not put in by the dealer. In any full-blown investigation no statement is ever taken at face value therefore Mr. Surabhi's statement could not be taken as true at that point in time. This is in anticipation of a situation where duplicate parts were sent out from the source and Mr.Surabhi is trying to pass the buck on to the dealer! Sounds preposterous, but possible and every possibility has to be examined and ruled out. The "as a special gesture" etc. etc. are also standard boiler-plate and their lawyers will insist on it. In other words Harish was wrongly advised that the above letter/receipt was prejudicial to his interests - he should have signed in acknowledgement and taken his car back.

Further reading the transcripts of the recording, I find that AD has admitted that Harish has been wronged and has apologised unconditionally. He has also undertaken to rectify the car FOC. The issue of damages arises only when responsibility of the dealer/Skoda is established. It is only the responsible party who will be liable to pay damages, if the dealer did it - he should pay hte damages, likewise if Skoda did it, Skoda should pay the damages. Here it seems that Skoda and Harish agree that it was the dealer has done it, but I do not think that the dealer has either confessed to anything or undertaken to pay the damages etc.

IMHO it is a bit much to expect someone's head on a platter. As long as the car is made ship-shape and returned and the suit for damages is not compromised, it is a decent way out.


Kindly allow me to refresh some points for you.

Firstly Skoda try to destroy evidence when they try to sneak the spurious parts out of JMD and back to Nummer Eins in the month of May '08 proving collusion without an iota of doubt. They get caught doing this. Out of spite they refuse to release my rectified car asking me to pay for it.

I approach the Consumer Forum to get my car released. I start my media campaign highlighting the mischief played by Skoda and its dealer.

Skoda calls me for a compromise in August '08. They offer to release my car if I stop the media campaign and withdraw their name from the consumer case. They however agree to let me carry on the consumer case against Nummer Eins.

On my insistence they offer to give me a receipt for the spurious parts removed from my car. They have already admitted that their dealer has done this mischief. However they add a rider in their receipt saying that these parts were not put by their dealer. I do not think skoda is magnanimous to replace parts worth 4.35 lakhs out of sheer goodwill other than to keep their name out of it..

How could i proceed with my case against Nummer Eins after having accepted this letter. That is where my suit for damages would have been compromised.

What did I fight for if I had to just kow tow to their convenience and absolve them of this fraud? Mind you Skoda Engineer Yogesh Vaidya was carting the spurious parts out of JMD Auto without my knowledge.

Do you still think I should have taken the car and let an unrepentant and manipulative Skoda off the hook????

also why would you terminate the franchise of your dealership if your dealer has not installed the spurious parts ?

Last edited by Technocrat : 24th March 2009 at 20:07.
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Old 24th March 2009, 22:23   #138
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Default Skoda ..... you will go not go scott free

Originally Posted by hamletisacigar View Post
you are doing something that very few of us do in this country, i.e. stand up for what's right. i salute your determination and persistence. you are an example to us all.
you are truly worthy of admiration! I am completely in awe of your ability of pursuing a just cause despite having the option of resolving things by looking the other way & getting the parts replaced.

I completely agree that all Team BHP members should not only send across a pre-decided letter conveying in no uncertain terms the anger & frustration each one us feel. Further , my wife works for the Zee group & I would be glad to ask her to do the needful.

Request someone on the Forum to take the lead in drafting the letter / news article in a manner that not only helps communicate the issue & but also strengthens the legal options excerised.

And rest assured - I AM NEVER BUYING A SKODA . And be doubly assured that I would most certainly spread the word of mouth through :
- Blogs
- Friend / Family / Acquaintence circle
- Corporate interactions

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Old 24th March 2009, 22:44   #139
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Dear Ravveendra,

I think you're looking at matter a little dispassionately and only from a legal viewpoint. If you have read carefully all the posts you will realize that neither SKODA Auto nor Nummer Eins wanted to acknowledge their fault, let alone accept the blame. They first tried to intimidate the customer, and only when he persisted doggedly did they start to change their stance. This gent has gone through unmentionable trauma. For someone whose daily job does not involve courts and lawyers the entire process can be very trying and emotionally unsettling. Not to mention the mental stress that comes from worrying about how to proceed with the matter, whether you are indeed doing the right thing and most importantly, the sinking feeling one gets when you know that you've been cheated. What about the amount of time that he has had to manage without his car because of something that was not his doing ? What about the amount of time and effort that he has put in in following up on this case? I'm sure Harish has a regular life / job apart from this and God knows our lives are busy enough without the added distractions. Are you suggesting that he simply forgets all this ?? Sometimes one needs to look from the inside out and consider what Harish has been put through and the anguish that he is still undergoing.
Ravveendra, I do understand that you are offering sound advice based on your experiences and I hope you will not take this personally as i'm not trying to lambast you. All i'm trying to do is present the other side, as I see it. I could be wrong.
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Old 24th March 2009, 23:25   #140
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I had been a great fan of the VW/Skoda brand - that is till I read this post. For lack of a better example, this is similar to the airline staff's attitude in Lufthansa - They treat you like king from US to Frankfurt and different from Frankfurt to India. For Indian clients, anything goes - even if we are paying the same cost for the services. The worst part is that our legal system is so slow and poor - these guys know fully about this and entirely leverage it to their advantage.
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Old 24th March 2009, 23:34   #141
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Hi revvhed & harishv,

I do not for a minute dispute the unplesantness or the hardship caused to Harish. All I am pointing out is that once the meeting was set up and Harish met the G.M. of Skoda who is the boss of the other employees who we suppose were colluding with a crooked dealer, the G.M. acknowledged that Harish had been wronged (wihtout nit-picking as to who was responsible) he apologised, unconditionally at that. He also agreed or offered to replace all the parts at no cost to Harish. He requested that Skoda be dropped from the complaint. (According to me, Harish is correct in not dropping Skoda from the Complaint).

My emphasis is on the fact that in their letter Skoda was stating that they have not determined whether the spurious parts were fitted in their dealership. This they have to do to protect themselves from any future action by the dealer against them. If Harish succeeds in court and the dealer is made to pay up, the dealer could claim that Skoda had compromised his case in collusion with Harish and therefore Skoda should make up the loss to him.

If on the other hand, Skoda had asked Harish to sign a statement that he (Harish) certifies that the spurious parts were not fitted in the Skoda dealership. Harish would have been more than correct to refuse.

As I said earlier @ Harish - that letter only contains Skoda's statement, at that a bland statement that the antecedants of the spurious parts could not be ascertained by them. Skoda does not even assert that the parts were not put in by their dealer. The statement by Skoda is not binding on you, they have not asked you to state or comment that the parts were not put in by the dealer. If at all, you felt that any part of the letter goes against your interests, it was always open to you to endorse "without prejudice" thereon and then sign (with date, place and time). Even without such an endorsement, the copy of the letter bearing your signature can be only used as an acknowledgement of the receipt of the letter (alongwith things sent thereunder - in this case the car).

By accepting return of the car (and acknowledging the letter), you would not have compromised your case for damages against Skoda, its employees or dealers. Forget damages, you could have even gone further and prosecuted them under the IPC.

Used wisely, the very same letter from Skoda would have helped your case. Right now, I would not be surprised if Skoda uses the letter to further their case to say - 'We tried to settle the matter amicably'.

I agree that Skoda too might have been advised better, but then we would be going off at a tangent into the murky waters of professional competence etc. Let us also look at the actions of Skoda seperately from the actions of some of it's employees. If Skoda as a company was encouraging its dealer to indulge in shady practices, it would have also directed it's engineer who inspected the car to certify that all parts were genuine. Yes, as the master, Skoda is liable for the actions of it's servants, but that is a complicated legal issue.

I am sorry to sound so dispassionate (a lovely way of putting it @ revvhed) but I have found it to be the best way to deal with such situations. Looking at things or situations with a critical eye often saves all concerned a lot of time, effort and money.

I take no offence and likewise do not intend to give offence. Please also do not consider anything I say here as 'legal advice', it is not advice of any nature. I am merely a participant in a rational discussion aimed at seeking the best way forward.

@ diffsoft: The questions you have raised merit at least a full day seminar and, my experience with such seminars is that they never ever give a simple yes/no answer, the reason is that each doucment/statement will have different significance and repurcussions depending on the surrounding facts. The facts are never identical. It is a complicated world - fascinating but complex.


Last edited by Ravveendrra : 24th March 2009 at 23:42.
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Old 25th March 2009, 01:15   #142
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I don't quite understand why anybody would want to change the team-bhp banner; if we were to do that, it would simply imply that we as a community are against our own principles of being unbiased. We are not an anti-skoda community per se. I personally feel that the banner should have nothing to do with this thread. We can protest in many other 'rational' ways and we have to be stoic and logical in what we do. Of course, this is my personal opinion.

Pray tell me, why is Skoda being so obstinate? They are getting themselves into a bigger mess. Skoda's reluctance to resolve this issue simply shows that they are indifferent and uncaring of their customers.

"We are obsessed with quality since 1895, it's just that our mentally un-sound customers don't quite agree with us?"

Kudos Mr. Harish, you have done an excellent job. You've cracked the whip on their thick skins you'll probably need to whip them a bit more before you get justice. I admire your resilience and your determination.

You're not the only person who has been through this, I know a plethora of people who regret for buying a skoda. Just that they didn't have the guts to drag these thugs to the court.
The manufacturer should be held accountable since many Skoda owners have been unanimously voicing their concern about the apathetic attitude of these scrupulous authorized service centers.

Who 'authorizes' these so called service centers? Tomorrow, can I open a 'Skoda Authorized Service Center' without VW's permission? Are these services centers so autonomous that the manufacturer cannot audit and inspect these workshops?
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Old 25th March 2009, 09:16   #143
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Some very interesting inputs have come from you. I apprecaite you trying to be rational. Let me clarify some points raised by you.

(According to me, Harish is correct in not dropping Skoda from the Complaint).

Thats it. No way were they releasing my car if I did not drop their name from the case.

(If on the other hand, Skoda had asked Harish to sign a statement that he (Harish) certifies that the spurious parts were not fitted in the Skoda dealership. Harish would have been more than correct to refuse.)

I am sure their receipt was a more subtle way of saying this.

(Forget damages, you could have even gone further and prosecuted them under the IPC.)

IPC ?. Ha Ha. My dear friend. Which world are you living in? I hope we meet in person and I could highlight my visits to Chembur Police Station.

(If Skoda as a company was encouraging its dealer to indulge in shady practices, it would have also directed it's engineer who inspected the car to certify that all parts were genuine. Yes, as the master, Skoda is liable for the actions of it's servants, but that is a complicated legal issue.)

Please go through my posts again. I have said some Indian Management Personnel in Skoda are indulging in this. Also please remember the vehicle inspection report is an internal document which was not meant to be given to me. I have managed to acquire it with great difficulty. I have also said earlier, Ramkrishna Surabhi seems like one of the most honest guys in Skoda.

Consider this - a ward steals, gets caught. The guardian returns the stolen goods on condition that I accept that the ward did not steal it. If I refuse I do not get my goods back. Funny isn't it ?????
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Old 25th March 2009, 09:42   #144
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Thermalpaste and all BHPians - Thanks once again.

Sidwadia - Zee already did a piece on my issue on Halla bol. Don't know whether they would do it again. Would be gr8 if you could manage that. Thanks for the offer.

Revhead - Thanks. Well described. Not to mention the anguish I feel when I see my family travel in an auto after investing in a 12 lakh car and still paying the EMI's.

Natrajdr - I fully identify with what you are saying. I have experienced it first hand. My brother married a German girl in 2007 and I flew to Dressden for the wedding in a Lufthansa.

Ravveendrra - No offense taken. No offense meant. A healthy debate always helps in plugging all loopholes in battle. I appreciate your posts. They have been very interesting. Keep it coming.

By the way, my brother had gifted me a beautiful German key chain as memento for my new Skoda car then. Nummer Eins flicked even that. Handed me the key back without the key chain.
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Old 25th March 2009, 11:09   #145
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Hey Harish. I got my car back last thursday. After one year too, from Skoda Continental Motors. Well, I too have had a harrowing ordeal with SKoda India and yes, the company and their dealers go hand in hand cheating customers. I must share my experience after I got the car.

Well, the drive was fine as the car has had a numerous number of parts changed. The turbo, intercooler, ECM, Air breather, Throttle valve and also the ENtire injection unit had been replaced within the first three months of the cars ownership. SO over all, its a new car that has been treated for some very disastrous ailments. Not to forget the entire wiring harness that they have charged me for.

OK. On taking the car home, the car gave up on me after five hours and thats because the battery died down. I was fortunate enough to be just ten minutes away from home and also had a mechanic around the corner who jump started it. Skoda sent their recovery car that reached after 3 hours and they found out that the alternator cable was loose. On tightening that and jump starting it, the battery began accepting charge and it became alright.

Now during the entire day I couldn't help notice that the rear view mirrors had a very very ordinary view and that they were just normal plain mirrors. That took the cake. They had removed the heatable mirrors and installed ordinary ones. Also, my CD players face plate was still missing, Ofcourse I noticed it when I took delivery, and they said they will arrange it the next day. Also the sun visor clips were broken.

Anyways, I took the car to the dealership the next day and immediately got all the broken and replaced parts replaced with new genuine ones that they took off from an accidented vehicle. The accidental vehicle was brand new but a total loss. SO I made most of it and asked them to replace the wipers blades too. After getting these nick knacks replaced, I was again asked to wait for another day for the system face plate.

It kept going like this till yesterday evening that they said that theyve arranged for a new face plate. Now since my car is mostly out of delhi, I am now waiting for the courier to reach me with the plate.

So I too suggest that we take their happiness and this time they must not be spared. Oh, I must share this too. While I sat in the office, their service guy came in and said that they had delivered a brand new Superb on monday. The new series and that car has also died down.

OMG. A brand new superb and suposedly the car number is a delhi registerd with the numbers 0567. Supposedly the people at skoda suspect faulty wiring or malfunctioning of the Torque converter, which is a very very serious problem as thats a sealed unit and very very expensive.

Now I would not like to be in that position seeing my superb undergo a complete overhaul and that too in just one week of delivery. ahahhahahhahahha. Skoda is definitely not playing their cards right here. God help them and MODS, remove the red octavia from the forum. Its a disgrace.

Last edited by kapiljolly79 : 25th March 2009 at 11:11.
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Old 25th March 2009, 11:18   #146
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Haha they robbed the keychain

Anyway Harish, I lost track of what you want out of this once you do win in court, a new skoda car(which they could offer) or a fat cheque for damages.

I know you are trying to change the system and get skoda to clean their act but at some point you will need to settle for something, can't really live with this madness for years, seeing as 1 year is already up, so what will that something be?

Just curiosity :o

p.s. If they offer you a new skoda car, the new laura or the new superb, don't use it, dismantle and sell it in parts, good enough to buy 2-3 new cars then
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Old 25th March 2009, 11:24   #147
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thermalpaste, the red skoda needs to be removed because it is a disgrace. Dodgy activity on multiple occasions from a CAR brand does not belong on a CAR forum banner.

Mods merge this post with my post above, can't edit posts as a newbie.
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Old 25th March 2009, 11:28   #148
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Default things most commonly lifted from skoda cars


dealers, i believe call the art of flicking original parts from your car as palti.

i heard that few of the parts that get frequently paltied in a skoda are

1. 3rd injector
2. steering rack
3. mother motor for the windows on the door panel.
4. mirrors - kapil please note


am not sure how far it is true. got it from one of the horse - stable manager's mouth
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Old 25th March 2009, 11:40   #149
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Going through this thread, the first reaction is like Cant beleive from a brand like Skoda! Damn Skoda you treat India as third world country and think you can get away from anythin?

Truly admire you Harish for your struggle on justice and conviction! Wish you best of luck!

Why do we have a Skoda Car image on the Forum Header page itself??
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Old 25th March 2009, 11:42   #150
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Originally Posted by harishv View Post
Dear Kapil.

I am fighting with Skoda for the last one year now. You may be aware their dealer in mumbai, Nummer Eins had replaced spurious parts in my car to the tune of around 4 lakhs. They had even stolen the 3rd injector and the steering rack and substituted them with fakes. They did not spare the battery either...

...Also, I wish to file a class action suit against Skoda in India. For that I need similarly affected people. At least ten of them. We can teach Skoda a lesson. - the common car owner in india is not to be taken for a ride. I am waiting for people to come forward and fight with me. So far I have been fighting single handedly. I would like to appeal to all team bhp members similarly affected to come forward.

Dear Harish,

Read your post for the first time. Kudos to you, for taking it up and showing the strength. As for my part, skoda loses its respect i had and would recommend people NOT TO BUY.
if i can be of any help, please let me know.

Note from the Team-BHP Support Team: Please avoid quoting an entire large post. It inconveniences our small screen & mobile readers.


Last edited by F50 : 25th March 2009 at 12:08.
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