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Old 5th August 2011, 12:06   #1
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Default Indica Vista caught fire on start-up

Read through an astonishing account of my friends ordeal ...Read some of the posts on Car Burning but still certains questions remain unanswered . . . Help needed from seniors -

here is an unfortunate event that occurred with my 2 1/2 year old petrol Tata Indica Vista car last month.

On june 13th morning I started my car and immediately after turning the key, there occurred a small explosion and the car caught fire. There was smoke followed by flames coming from the bonnet of the car. Immediately I removed the key and got out of the car. Together with my neighbors, we tried to control the fire. but we couldn’t. We tried to open the bonnet, but in vain. We had to call the fire brigade and they even could not open the bonnet. Some how they managed to control the fire.

After getting the FIR and Panchnama done, I intimated the incident t0 the Insurance Company (Reliance) and got the car moved to the nearest TATA authorized service center. All the documents were submitted to the service center along with the vehicle. The next day claim was lodged with the Insurance company for cash less repairs by the Service center.

Now, after this, the service center gave me and the insurance company, the estimate only yesterday i.e. on Aug 2nd (after almost one and a half month). The excuse given by the service center for so many days was that this being a petrol car he is not able to ascertain the extent of damage as such cars come very rarely to his service center.

The estimate is of Rs. 4.90 lacs excluding labour cost. Insurance company is of the opinion that as per their calculation, the cost is approx Rs. 2.25 lacs only of which only Rs. 1.2 lacs is admissible.
The service center had included the cost of replacement of engine Rs. 2.22 lacs. Now they are saying that, engine can be repaired but the cost of repairs cannot be estimated unless they open the engine.
The surveyor is of the opinion that the service center does not appear to be interested in repairing the vehicle and they do not possess the expertise.

He is giving me an option to declare the vehicle as Cash loss not total loss and take Rs. 90,000/- from the insurance company and either get the car repaired at any of the local garage or scrap it. I am confused and there are certain questions that erupt in my mind, as to how the car caught fire, why the bonnet did not open, reason for so much delay in giving me the estimate??? Neither the insurance surveyor nor the service center have been able to ascertain the reason for the fire. The service center tells me that they will show that the fire has occurred on account of battery and then I would I lose only the cost of battery in terms of insurance reimbursement

I request you to kindly suggest me the action if any that I can take against TATA Motors or the Service center and guide me as to how can I handle this situation. I had not opted for extended warranty.


(Mod - pls reclassify the thread if needed)
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Old 5th August 2011, 12:38   #2
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Unhappy Re: Indica Vista burnt on start-up

OMG, thats an unfortunate incident. Thank God that you are safe and unhurt.

Did the service centre/Insurer give details as to what caused the explosion? Was it electical fault, fuel leakage etc? If the service centre is unwilling to repair the car, would it be possible to move the car to a different workshop specifically Tata one.

What was the IDV of the Car in the present Insurance period. The Insurers are bound to give you the IDV of the car and not some paltry amount. You will need to be careful or else you will be sweet talked to do what the Insurer say.
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Old 5th August 2011, 12:59   #3
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Default Re: Indica Vista burnt on start-up

When the cost of brand new Indica Vista petrol is 4.19 L ( for aqua model, ex Thane) , how the repair cost will be 4.9 lakhs + labour? they are taking you for ride. check with other tata motors service center
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Old 5th August 2011, 15:28   #4
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Default Re: Indica Vista burnt on start-up

That's most unfortunate. I would be wary of getting the car repaired at these cost.

Cars can catch fire for several reasons. Fuel leaks and bad electricals are the obvious reasons.

Car fires can e dangerous. Last year I'd read about a car fatality due to fire. This was somewhere in Delhi. The car caught fire and the passenger got trapped inside as the doors would not open due automatic door closing function which got disabled due to the fire.
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Old 5th August 2011, 15:35   #5
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Default Re: Indica Vista burnt on start-up

Dont let go of the insurance company so easily, they have to pay when the claim is made.

Suggest you to read Skoda accident thread and how the Bhpain got handsome amount after declaring the car total loss.
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Old 5th August 2011, 19:07   #6
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Default Re: Indica Vista burnt on start-up

Thanks friends.

Additional inputs -

The IDV is Rs. 246000, the insurance co says cannot declare total loss. Only cash loss and compensation Rs. 90000. Service center is ready to repair...

No one has given the reason for fire???
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Old 6th August 2011, 12:11   #7
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Default Re: Indica Vista burnt on start-up

@ adinathr

This incident is quite horrific & serious. Suggest you write to Tata Motors top brass so that an investigation can be done as to the exact cause of fire. Subsequently you can decide on the level of repairs for which you can pay, the level which can be covered by insurance and if there are any manufacturing glitches which led to this flare-up - to what extent TML can cover your losses. I don't think the dealer or insurance company will be of much help.
You can write to:
Mr Sreeraman - Head of Customer Service at TML.
He sits at Bombay. His mail id is: sree@tatamotors.com
Also mark a copy to : coffice@tata.com This is Ratan Tata's mail id.

All the best .
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Old 8th August 2011, 11:39   #8
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Default Re: Indica Vista burnt on start-up

@arjab - thanks for the info ... my friend will write to the today.

Recent updates - after much bickering for a final estimate what he has got is an estimate for Rs.2.88 lacs incl of labour of Rs.0.33 lacs.

The decision is now hinged on whether the Insurance Co will accept a total loss ?
When do they accept a total loss - if their liability to repair > 75% of IDV (correct my understanding)
Liability to repair is calculated -
- 85% (after depreciation) of Parts replaced (excl. plastic);
- 50% of accessories, plastic parts;
- 85% of winshield +
- 100% labour.

Questions -
Can one get the Ins Co to tell based on the estimate and their loss assessment - how much of the repair bill they will be footing ?? (Simple thing to expect but the Reliance guy says pls speak to Garage ppl)
How does one distinguish between part & accessory - the difference is 50% hit or (100-85)= 15% hit?
Can at the end of the repair mission - if it turns out that total loss is admissible based on the final repair bill - can the insured insist for TOTAL LOSS?
Since its a petrol INDICA there are no scrap dealers to take it - could that be a reason that the Ins Co is steering us towards CASH LOSS or REPAIR ?

On TATA Front - if the vehicle is out of warranty then TATA owes no responsibility.
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