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Old 23rd April 2014, 16:58   #1
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Default "Owners Responsibility" - Anywhere & Everywhere!

Dear Friends,

The idea of this thread came to me sometime back. I had sent my car for regular servicing. Since, I had some free time on that day I started reading the terms and conditions printed at the back of the service job card copy. While all the conditions are more or less same with all manufacturers but one condition that actually bothered me was "The car is stored, serviced and test driven at the risk of the owner". . Some of them do mention that in case of mishaps at the workshop the repair will be carried using the vehicle insurance but remains silent on the depreciation charges indicating it to be owners responsibility.

The above is not the actual wording but somewhat similar. I kept wondering how is an owner responsible for something that happens without his knowledge? What is the role and responsibility of the workshop? Are they not equally responsible to ensure that the car is delivered to the owner in good and proper shape after servicing ? Why don't they own or take responsibility of some mishap at their end ? Why do they shy away from writing that the workshop will be responsible for any untoward incident that happens at the workshop when the car has been left with them in good faith.

This kept me restless for some days but with passage of time I got tuned into the system and always signed the front part of the job card without even bothering to read the terms and conditions.(Many of you would have also considered this as part of the system where the owner has limited or no choice).

However, during a recent visit to a shopping mall, I noticed the parking slip and it again mentioned "Parking at owners risk". A similar note was mentioned on the parking slip that I got at the railway station and airport.

If this was not enough, I checked that even Five star hotels are not willing to own any responsibility of your parked vehicle even when parked by the valet.

Further, I have also noticed that the parking of the vehicles on the streets is done on good faith and most of the time the owner has no choice but to hand over the keys to the parking attendant.

Now does this mean that as a owner of the vehicle you will be held liable for everything which is not even under your control ?


I had also come across a thread which had a supreme court ruling which mentioned "It is the duty of the owner to ensure that the vehicle is not used or misused in contravention of the rules" in a case involving a minor. Does this hold true in all these cases as well? If yes, then are we not risking ourselves daily owning responsibility at each and every stage.

If a theft of the vehicle takes place in a parking lot when the owner is away, how can this be his responsibility, when he is not there on the actual scene of crime?

If the parking attendant damages some other car while parking your car, how can you be held responsible?

If the service advisor is out on test drive of the car and it meets an accident (damage or no damage), how is the owner responsible?

If you go to a shopping mall and someone damages your car, what is the responsibility of the parking attendant. Will you be held responsible if somebody damages your vehicle intentionally or unintentionally?

At a railway station or an airport "Are you not suppose to go the platform or inside terminal building to receive your guest or is it expected from you to sit in the parking lot inside your car because parking is at owners risk"?

Moreover, you will not see any escalation matrix at any of these places. If something goes wrong, a person does not know whom to approach and where to go. A normal person would only call 100 (which is a police helpline).

Should it not be made mandatory to print the names and numbers of the persons who are responsible for handling your vehicles at the parking lots on the parking slips. I am not sure weather such a law exists and is being ignored.

Here are a couple of pictures of the parking slips that I have collected over a period of time in order to further explain my point.

You will notice that the parking slip issued by Apollo Hospital mentions meeting a contractor but has no name and number.

"Owners Responsibility" - Anywhere & Everywhere!-parking0007.jpg

"Owners Responsibility" - Anywhere & Everywhere!-parking0006.jpg

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"Owners Responsibility" - Anywhere & Everywhere!-photo-1.jpg

Please Note: (It is pertinent to mention here that the slip of the Hotel Imperial, New Delhi used above in the picture is just for illustration only and the hotel does not charge any money for parking like all other agencies which offer parking services. Valet parking is just a service that is being offered to their customers, and nothing should be viewed negatively against the Hotel and I have been a regular guest of this Hotel for the last many years.)

Last edited by mints21 : 23rd April 2014 at 17:31. Reason: Addition of Information
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Old 24th April 2014, 14:32   #2
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Default Re: "Owners Responsibility" - Anywhere & Everywhere!!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Street Experiences Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 24th April 2014, 14:37   #3
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Default Re: "Owners Responsibility" - Anywhere & Everywhere!!

Excellent line of thought there. I have always wondered what I really means. Do you think we have a recourse if anything happens or they will just ask us to claim insurance?
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Old 24th April 2014, 14:48   #4
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Default Re: "Owners Responsibility" - Anywhere & Everywhere!!

Its assumed if something breaks we need to go our to claim insurance. Thats why in west people dont even get into inhumane fights after a fender bender or a big accident. No crowds gather for a tamasha-settlement, etc.

Exchange your insurance details, involve police if needed, get moving either by cab or tow truck or drive on if car is driveable.

Only in India we spend every drop of sweat to avoid insurance at any cost - beg borrow fight punch bribe!

Last edited by svsantosh : 24th April 2014 at 14:50.
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Old 24th April 2014, 14:57   #5
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Default Re: "Owners Responsibility" - Anywhere & Everywhere!!

Though they may write whatever they feel like which may help them shrug off their responsibility, but what I know/ understand is that just writing a line on the parking ticket or the service center job card cannot make those guys run off from their responsibilities. I think these written arguments will not stand in the Court of Law too.
Will appreciate the views of the lawyers on the forum.

Last edited by saket77 : 24th April 2014 at 15:05.
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Old 24th April 2014, 15:00   #6
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Default Re: "Owners Responsibility" - Anywhere & Everywhere!!

Interesting topic.

From a businessmen point of view it is quite right to protect their business by covering all potential risks.

Remove that line from terms and conditions and the next day people will rush to claim various damages and most of them would be not genuine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by svsantosh View Post
Its assumed if something breaks we need to go our to claim insurance. Thats why in west people dont even get into inhumane fights after a fender bender or a big accident. No crowds gather for a tamasha-settlement, etc.

Exchange your insurance details, involve police if needed, get moving either by cab or tow truck or drive on if car is driveable.

Only in India we spend every drop of sweat to avoid insurance at any cost - beg borrow fight punch bribe!
Very true! Don't know when we Indians would be mature enough to understand this.

Quote:
Though they may write whatever they feel like which the think may help them shrug off their responsibility, but what I know/ understand is that just writing a line on the parking ticket or the service center job card cannot make those guys run off from their responsibilities. I think these written arguments will not stand in the Court of Law too.
Will appreciate the views of the lawyers on the forum.
Though I am no lawyer, the written terms and conditions will stand quite well in the court of law. It means that the user/consumer has agreed to the conditions prior to using the service so he can not later deny them.

Last edited by the_skyliner : 24th April 2014 at 15:04.
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Old 24th April 2014, 15:16   #7
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Default Re: "Owners Responsibility" - Anywhere & Everywhere!!

The annoying part of all this being that these are all paid parking.

And they say 'owners responsibility'. So what is the parking fee for? Isn't the fee supposed to cover some type of responsibility from the parking attendant as well?

Sometime back, I visited a famous restaurant on Church Street, Bangalore and being a busy area, there was no parking on the road available. Since I did not want to give the car to the valet, I asked the security if I could park the car myself in their basement. His answer was , there are hundreds of cars being removed and added to their basement and he cannot let me park. I had no choice but to give it to him. My only console was, the driver could drive the car only for few meters and soon enough I could hear the driver revving my car away to glory in the basement(it has a FFE) and soon after that I see a notice on the wall saying that the Valet is no responsible for any damage to the car.
So in other words, the driver gets to enjoy many different cars without any fear of getting screwed. and the parking attendant gets to pocket all the parking fees or atleast part of it without any thought of responsibility.

PS: Not once have I been given a ticket or token first for parking and then asked for the amount. It's always money been asked first(without token) and me asking the token in return.
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Old 24th April 2014, 16:36   #8
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Default Re: "Owners Responsibility" - Anywhere & Everywhere!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_skyliner View Post
Though I am no lawyer, the written terms and conditions will stand quite well in the court of law. It means that the user/consumer has agreed to the conditions prior to using the service so he can not later deny them.
As said earlier, even I am not a lawyer, but if that was true, the Chevrolet service center would not have offered to repair the expensive Cruze for free as it caught fire in the workshop. Here is the thread: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...-now-what.html (Cruze catches fire @ Chevrolet Workshop. Now what?)

The car was insured too.

The thing one has to prove in court is the 'negligence' of the parking lot personnel/ security/ service centre and that will be easy if you retain the parking ticket in case of theft. Damages in service centers can only happen due to negligence (unless the car burns 'itself' which will rarely happen) or by not following the safety books & manual (which most places do not actually follow since the safety manuals & books can be practically very stringent to follow in normal routine)

Last edited by saket77 : 24th April 2014 at 16:57.
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Old 24th April 2014, 17:02   #9
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Default Re: "Owners Responsibility" - Anywhere & Everywhere!!

The reason the disclaimer is provided is because all paid or unpaid parking spaces provide just that - Space. Nothing else.

The money you pay is not for security or for upkeep of your vehicle. It is only for the space you use. This is true with malls, railway stations, bus stations and even in airports. Even in long park airports, there is no guarantee of safety against damage or even theft.

While a restaurants and other establishments providing valet services cannot ethically wash their hands off when a valet driver hired by them to handle the vehicle crashes it or damages it, they will do it and it is a reality around the world.
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Old 24th April 2014, 17:14   #10
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Default Re: "Owners Responsibility" - Anywhere & Everywhere!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
As said earlier, even I am not a lawyer, but if that was true, the Chevrolet service center would not have offered to repair the expensive Cruze for free as it caught fire in the workshop. Here is the thread: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...-now-what.html (Cruze catches fire @ Chevrolet Workshop. Now what?)

The car was insured too.

The thing one has to prove in court is the 'negligence' of the parking lot personnel/ security/ service centre and that will be easy if you retain the parking ticket in case of theft. Damages in service centers can only happen due to negligence (unless the car burns 'itself' which will rarely happen) or by not following the safety books & manual (which most places do not actually follow since the safety manuals & books can be practically very stringent to follow in normal routine)
I checked the link but there is neither court of law involved nor the thread starter updated on the final outcome. Or am I missing something?

Receipts are like signed cheques they are vital evidence for such court cases. Know this from personal experience.
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Old 24th April 2014, 17:28   #11
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Default Re: "Owners Responsibility" - Anywhere & Everywhere!!

A quick google-ing: http://www.tresixty.com/story/qa-law...-your-own-risk

Quote:
By printing the worded statement “vehicles are parked at your own risk” on the parking tickets, as well as the display boards at the entrance to the car park, the mall is actually relying on exemption clauses stipulated in the Contract Law to avoid liability.
In fact, parking in a enclosed society parking with gates & guards also makes the society liable, since it is a 'managed' parking. On the other hand, a piece of land with no 'managed' parking does not makes the land owner liable if the vehicle is stolen/ damaged.

Also in the previous Chevrolet case that I posted, if the service center was exempted of all responsibilities, then why did it offer to repair the car free in first place? Such level of goodwill does not exist

Last edited by saket77 : 24th April 2014 at 17:34.
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Old 24th April 2014, 17:34   #12
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Default Re: "Owners Responsibility" - Anywhere & Everywhere!!

I agree with the highlighted part in your first image. If you leave valuables in your car, you are careless. So, no one can be blamed for theft.

But widening the discussions, this is a very unfair policy. The people in who handle your car(like SA, valet) or take care of it(security guard) are from the low end of the income scale, so it's hard to get anything from them financially even it you know that they're responsible.

And their heads(read: managers) can just deflect any blame away from them by showing you the terms and conditions. So, you're at a loss, whatever the case.
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Old 24th April 2014, 18:43   #13
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Default Re: "Owners Responsibility" - Anywhere & Everywhere!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mints21 View Post

Some of them do mention that in case of mishaps at the workshop the repair will be carried using the vehicle insurance but remains silent on the depreciation charges indicating it to be owners responsibility.
Sir, Exactly the same situation had been faced by me at Shiva Motors Noida. I had got my father's Optra serviced at their workshop in Sector 8 Noida. While parking the car inside the right corner of the front bumper rubbed the pillar. When my driver saw this, he immediately called me up and I asked the SA about it. He said it must be an old dent. After listening this I got so furious and spoke to their GM. That bugger said please read our job card which says that in case of any damage which occurs in the workshop to a customer's car the owner should inform us and it will be set right as insurance company shall be paying for it and we don't charge the customer. My question to him was why will insurance agency be involved?

I did not budge as I told him it is your mechanic's fault and not mine. The executives apologized and tried to convince me but I warned them not to cheat me. Finally, The GM paid for the damages and got the bumper painted from their Sahibabad Workshop within 24 hrs.

Here is a copy of the job card

"Owners Responsibility" - Anywhere & Everywhere!-scan_pic0001.jpg

Thanks

AD

Last edited by ad3952n : 24th April 2014 at 19:01. Reason: proof added
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Old 24th April 2014, 18:55   #14
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Default Re: "Owners Responsibility" - Anywhere & Everywhere!!

There was another thread where a Ford fiesta given for service met with an accident & the owner(a bhpian) was given a new car. I couldn't find the thread now but I guess the exit clauses behind a job card will not withstand judicial scrutiny if we can prove beyond reasonable doubt that the ASS/valet is the bad guy.
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Old 24th April 2014, 19:09   #15
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It's untenable in the court since you have no option in this case. Once you have handed over the car to them if the car suffers any damage, especially because of negligence then the service centre must pay.
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