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Old 2nd February 2010, 12:28   #1
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Default Accident during Test Drive... Need Help

One of my friend is planning to buy a new Suzuki Ritz. He visited a showroom of a popular Suzuki car dealer in Satara(Maharashtra). Got the details of the car and eventually went on a test drive of Demo Car.
My friend was driving the car. While returning back the car met with accident with a Fiat Palio. It was my friend's fault.
The demo car suffered following damages;
1.Fender bend(driver side).
2.Scratches on the bumper.
3.Scratches on the wheel cap.

My friend expected that the damages would be covered under insurance.
To his surprise he was told that the car was not insured as it was a so called DEMO car and he needs to pay everything from his pocket. The dealer charged my friend for all the damage repair which costed him around Rs5000/-. He was confused at that moment because he was unaware of insurance terms and conditions and all other details. He was also asked to pay the damages of Fiat Palio.

My friend was not informed about the car been not insured before the test drive. Nothing was mentioned about the responsibility in case of an accident.

He needs to know:
1.Is it right that the DEMO car was not insured?
2.Can the dealer charge the customer for the damages caused by an accident during a test drive?
3.By law who is reponsible for these damages?
4.What is the course of action here?

I appreciate your help and opinion as I am going to raise this to Suzuki.
Thanks in Advance.

Last edited by sushantr5 : 2nd February 2010 at 12:29. Reason: Spelling Mistake
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Old 2nd February 2010, 12:35   #2
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Recent discussions in 'Accidents' thread are about accidents during test drive. Have a look at this page.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...-pics-307.html
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Old 2nd February 2010, 12:37   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sushantr5 View Post
He needs to know:
1.Is it right that the DEMO car was not insured?
2.Can the dealer charge the customer for the damages caused by an accident during a test drive?
3.By law who is reponsible for these damages?
4.What is the course of action here?

I appreciate your help and opinion as I am going to raise this to Suzuki.
Thanks in Advance.
1. It is not right. Every car has to be insured.They would have done that but trying to get the remaining amount from your friend.
2.Yes he can.
3.The driver is responsible since he is the one behind the wheels Even if it is a demo car.
4. Simple, the insurance guy will come and give the amount and the remaining amount will be paid by your friend
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Old 2nd February 2010, 13:44   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shishir_bn View Post
Every car has to be insured.They would have done that but trying to get the remaining amount from your friend.
Err, I am not too sure about this. The car could be insured only for '3rd party damages' and not for 'comprehensive' damages. If it is former, the owner has to bear the cost of damages; if it is the latter the insurance companies. AND, there is a clause in the insurance policies on HOW a vehicle is to be used. AFAIK, the insurance company CAN exclude cover for cars used for stunts, race etc...

I have seen one more thread on this subject, like : "Insurance, Ask me" or something like that..
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Old 2nd February 2010, 13:49   #5
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AFAIK, a civil recovery lawsuit has to be initiated by the dealer to recover the costs from the driver.In pratice, it's usually it's by bullying and threatening that they recover the money.

There was another thread on a SX4 accident with a Maruti dealer in Bangalore while doing TD.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...up-driver.html (Horrible accident while test driving SX4 (Mob/dealer beat up the driver))
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Old 2nd February 2010, 14:12   #6
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Many of the dealers are getting a document signed before TD. Anyone remember the clauses on that?
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Old 2nd February 2010, 14:59   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolclouds View Post
Many of the dealers are getting a document signed before TD. Anyone remember the clauses on that?
Yep, the document clearly states that it is the responsibility of the "test driver", in other words, your friend to take care of the car during the test drive. Also, most dealers have 3rd party insurance on the test drive vehicles which means that your friend needs to compensate for the damage

On a better front, the guy is a dealer, he would have cheaper methods to get the car repaired. Calm down and negotiate with him for something lesser and finish the issue.
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Old 2nd February 2010, 15:28   #8
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Damages caused by your friend + your friend was at fault = he pays up

Having said that, i smell a rat here, AFAIK a new can cannot be insured as 3rd party and most of these demo cars are actually not demo cars. Most probably some unsuspecting customer will buy this car as new, There is a huge probability that all these demo cars may not even be registered. I see a red punto TD car almost every day and is not registered, i have been seeing this one for almost 4-5 months. I have hered stories about dealerships selling tampered test drive cars to people as new cars.


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Old 2nd February 2010, 16:01   #9
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Was it really a demo car ? I mean, did it have large DEMO CAR stickers ?

Did your friend get a receipt for the amount paid towards the repair of the alleged demo car ? This should be interesting.

In any case, ask your friend to send an email to Maruti Udyog and inform them about the whole incident. Write in the mail that he would not be choosing a Maruti vehicle because of this bad episode and harsh treatment from the dealer.

Maruti considers customer feedback valuable. Some action would definitely be taken.

Rohan
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Old 2nd February 2010, 16:15   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
In any case, ask your friend to send an email to Maruti Udyog and inform them about the whole incident. Write in the mail that he would not be choosing a Maruti vehicle because of this bad episode and harsh treatment from the dealer.

Maruti considers customer feedback valuable. Some action would definitely be taken.

Rohan

What is the point? why do you want to do something like that, Let me ask you something very simple, you buy a brand new car and your friend crashes it during a TD will you just let him walk away and claim insurance? Why to do unethical things like threatning them not to buy a car if no action is taken. Feedback is an important tool, due to loopholes like these no one takes it seriously.

I seriously feel our thought process has a serious issue, here the guy admits that his friend commits a mistake, causes damage to a innocent guys palio and is just asked to pay 5K, even then i see people trying to still blow it out of propotion.

Guys let me be very honnest in saying in the last couple of months i have seen the worst possible advise from people here on tbhp, i guess that ist time that lets all sit down and think is this all what we are about?

@sushantr5, please ask your friend to pay up the entire damage and forget it, Mistakes happen and everybody does it, It takes only a man t own up his mistakes and implement corrective actions


Pramod

Last edited by pramodkumar : 2nd February 2010 at 16:16.
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Old 2nd February 2010, 16:20   #11
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Here is the mail sent to contact@maruti.co.in. Lets see what is the exact company endorsed procedure after accident.

Quote:
Dear Sir,
I had a very bad experience at the Suzuki showroom of Satara, Maharashtra owned by the Chowgule industries. I believe, I was very cleverly duped .I got a good taste of the so called Suzuki “service”.
I was planning to buy new Suzuki Ritz. I visited Chowgule’s showroom at Satara Maharashtra for a test drive. On the way back from the drive I met with an accident with another car. I was driving the demo car. There was a lot of hue and cry and people started gathering. I got overwhelmed. I expected that the damages to be under insurance.
The demo car suffered following damages;
1. Fender bends (driver side).
2. Scratches on the bumper.
3. Scratches on the wheel cap.
To my surprise I was told that the car was not insured as it was a so called DEMO car. The dealer asked me to pay for the damage repair for the demo car. I was also asked to pay for the damages of the car which I had an accident with. I was not informed about the car been not insured; before the test drive. Nothing was mentioned about the responsibility in case of an accident.
I got extremely confused. I kept on asking about the insurance of the car only to get vague answers. The people were very glib in their talk. With my family around I thought it would be wise not to get involved in a brawl and decided to pay. I had to shell around shell Rs 5000/- from my pocket.
I had very high expectations from Suzuki. I am utterly disappointed. I have no other option for buying Suzuki cars from Satara and invariably would have to go to Chowgule industries. After such an awful experience (even before actualy buying the car )I have decided not to go for Suzuki cars.
You being the company representative I hope some help from your side. It is not only about the money. I have already paid it. It is about the ethics which Suzuki is known for. I would request you to do the needful.
I would like to know:
1. Is it right that the DEMO car was not insured?
2. Is it permissible for a dealer to keep an uninsured car for a test drive?
3. Is not the responsibility of the dealer to inform customers about the legalities before test drive?Who is then responsible in case of damages?
....
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Old 2nd February 2010, 17:06   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sushantr5 View Post
My friend expected that the damages would be covered under insurance.
To his surprise he was told that the car was not insured as it was a so called DEMO car and he needs to pay everything from his pocket.
It is an offense to drive on public roads without insurance. The showroom guy is in violation of RTA act. I would suggest consulting a trusted lawyer to recover the money.
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Old 2nd February 2010, 17:07   #13
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See, if we speak up then only we can come in front of real facts. Immediately after this mail I forwarded this mail to my friend in Maruti for followup and things moved very fast.

Company says that damage should be covered under Insurance and difference is the actual liability of driver. Now the dealership is ready to refund extra amount.
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Old 2nd February 2010, 22:39   #14
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Dear members,

Going through this incident we have to think of the ethics involved in it. One thing if you are not confident enough You should not take it on city roads, He could have taken to a free road and handed over to the sales executive or the driver with the dealer's demo car. Other wise for the mistake of the driver better to pay. I haven't signed before the TD so far. After TD I sign. I did TD Swift,Ritz,Zen and dzire but the Se is well known to me he brought the car to my house and we did TD from my place. So far no such small scratch happened.
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Old 3rd February 2010, 10:09   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pramodkumar View Post
What is the point? why do you want to do something like that, Let me ask you something very simple, you buy a brand new car and your friend crashes it during a TD will you just let him walk away and claim insurance? Why to do unethical things like threatning them not to buy a car if no action is taken. Feedback is an important tool, due to loopholes like these no one takes it seriously.

I seriously feel our thought process has a serious issue, here the guy admits that his friend commits a mistake, causes damage to a innocent guys palio and is just asked to pay 5K, even then i see people trying to still blow it out of propotion.

Guys let me be very honnest in saying in the last couple of months i have seen the worst possible advise from people here on tbhp, i guess that ist time that lets all sit down and think is this all what we are about?

@sushantr5, please ask your friend to pay up the entire damage and forget it, Mistakes happen and everybody does it, It takes only a man t own up his mistakes and implement corrective actions

Pramod

Quote:
Originally Posted by sushantr5 View Post
See, if we speak up then only we can come in front of real facts. Immediately after this mail I forwarded this mail to my friend in Maruti for followup and things moved very fast.

Company says that damage should be covered under Insurance and difference is the actual liability of driver. Now the dealership is ready to refund extra amount.
This is exactly the reason why I had suggested him to write an email to Maruti.

I don't think that there is anything unethical about writing to the car company and narrating the bad experience which he had during the test drive (as long as he does not manipulate any facts).

This is exactly what he has done. He has clearly admitted his mistake in the accident and expressed displeasure with the way he was treated by the dealer after the accident.

After receiving the email, Maruti has clarified that the demo car was under insurance and that the dealer has pocketed the money collected from this person.

Also, it is a known fact that some dealerships are using brand new cars for test drive purpose.

Don't you think that such unethical practices of dealers should be brought to the notice of the car company ?

Some of my doubts are still not clear:

1. Was it really a demo car (with stickers) or was it a brand new car ?

2. Any car on the road should have at least a 3rd party insurance. When the alleged demo car met with an accident with the Palio, the Palio's damages should have been paid by the demo car's insurance. Why was he asked to pay for damage to the Palio ?

3. When he paid the amount towards the repair of the alleged demo car, did the dealer give him a receipt ?

Rohan

Last edited by rohan_iitr : 3rd February 2010 at 10:14.
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