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Old 3rd February 2017, 10:06   #76
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Default Re: Not-so-major accident in Mercedes E-Class. 15 lakh rupees & 6 months before car returns!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gkveda View Post
What makes me believe that this is a minor accident is,
1. Bumper is one of the lowest part of the car which is near to the ground. If the bumper itself is not damaged anywhere except one point at right, this means, it has to be a stone or similar low height substance which the bumper must have scraped. If the object was too tall, then the bumper would have "HIT" the object instead of scraping. This would have caused higher impact. This does not seem to be the case
2. If the bumper has scraped, then the subsequent parts behind the bumper would have also got just scraped and got damaged. So, there is NO "HIT" from the bottom. If there is no "HIT", then, the chances of parts above the scraped objects getting damaged is very less
3. If there was any "HIT", then the impact of HIT would have transferred to windshield and it should have broken OR Cracked. This has not happened

So, all that has happened is just scrapping of the bottom most parts of the car. So, this is definitely a minor accident and nothing Major
Sadly, this is just an analogy looking at the picture. However, I would suggest you to look at the engine bay of an actual E class to understand what is packaged inside. Forget the E class, even a current gen car being sold in our market has enough number of components right behind the bumper which gets damaged due to damage to a bumper. Heck one of my cousins ended up with a 40k+ bill after he ran over a dog in his Polo. The bumper, intercooler, AC condenser, radiator, one fog light and some other wiring bits were to be changed.

The bumper corner and whatever was around it, in this case is literally demolished. Since the bumper is made out of flexible plastic, it did not disintegrate and just got torn. The empty space you see carved out of the bumper actually has quite a lot of components, and expensive ones. That's the reason for the bill and all this talk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grace View Post
I would have suggested Mr Nambiar to drop into Trend Motors on Hosur Road and have the entire bumper repaired under 15k, if thats the only visible part of damage was.

Andy
Its not that easy as said. That might have worked out with a really bare bones car. Not even with my Celerio that would have worked.

Last edited by audioholic : 3rd February 2017 at 10:10.
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Old 3rd February 2017, 10:07   #77
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Default Re: Not-so-major accident in Mercedes E-Class. 15 lakh rupees & 6 months before car returns!

I would have suggested Mr Nambiar to drop into Trend Motors on Hosur Road and have the entire bumper repaired under 15k, if thats the only visible part of damage was.

Andy
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Old 3rd February 2017, 10:53   #78
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Default Re: Not-so-major accident in Mercedes E-Class. 15 lakh rupees & 6 months before car returns!

Is removal of hood such a complicated affair ?

There are 3 entries for labour for this job:
Hood removal about 1.7k, hood repair 2.4k and hood painting about 20k.. and this is ONLY labour!!

and by Hood, I guess they mean the bonnet ? if so, It doesn't appear to be damaged at all!

A colleague recently got his ALL the four door panels of his swift tinkered and repainted for about 28k Including labour and parts! I know it is not fair to compare a hatch with a luxury car, but still, the labour bill seems to be very high. Are these mechanics so elite ?

Gives a lot of credence to the debates which sometimes I have with my colleagues - even if somebody gifts us a high end car, maintaining it will be beyond the capacity of many!

Last edited by haria : 3rd February 2017 at 10:57.
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Old 3rd February 2017, 11:01   #79
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Default Re: Not-so-major accident in Mercedes E-Class. 15 lakh rupees & 6 months before car returns!

This example reinforces the reality which so many of us salaried car enthusiasts tend to forget when it comes to buying a premium German - it's not enough to be able to afford the EMI. You need a lot of disposable income to maintain it in tip-top condition!

I can only imagine the horror if one is paying anywhere between 50-70k EMI towards a premium car and has to spend 4-5 lakhs on a accident repair! What would one do for that - sell a kidney!?

It's better I would say to buy a Volkswagen (a not-so-premium German) and let the cookies crumble.

Until the premium German trio reach 85-90% localization, this situation shall continue to exist.
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Old 3rd February 2017, 13:57   #80
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Default Re: Not-so-major accident in Mercedes E-Class. 15 lakh rupees & 6 months before car returns!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Durango Dude View Post
The Germans come with an entry and exit load and is something of an 'Airavat' to maintain. They literally take the Indian's for a "ride".
Totally agree with Durango Dude. Let alone Merc, even VW is high maintenance. Replacing a dented bumper in my VW polo cost about Rs. 20000. If you own a German car, then hope it doesn't crash. Otherwise, repair work and spares will surely burn a big hole in your pocket.
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Old 3rd February 2017, 16:00   #81
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Default Re: Not-so-major accident in Mercedes E-Class. 15 lakh rupees & 6 months before car returns!

OMG this is really shocking. How can be the damage happen to this extent with so many part to replace? Even by looking at the pics no one can imagine 15L bill.
I am thinking for cases when people sometime forget to renew their insurance on time.
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Old 3rd February 2017, 16:14   #82
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Default Re: Not-so-major accident in Mercedes E-Class. 15 lakh rupees & 6 months before car returns!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AbhisheKulkarni View Post
This example reinforces the reality which so many of us salaried car enthusiasts tend to forget when it comes to buying a premium German - it's not enough to be able to afford the EMI. You need a lot of disposable income to maintain it in tip-top condition!

I can only imagine the horror if one is paying anywhere between 50-70k EMI towards a premium car and has to spend 4-5 lakhs on a accident repair! What would one do for that - sell a kidney!?

It's better I would say to buy a Volkswagen (a not-so-premium German) and let the cookies crumble.

Until the premium German trio reach 85-90% localization, this situation shall continue to exist.
Perhaps, there is another better solution for owning a German car in an economically easy way and of course save your Kidneys; Buy a German car, click a lot of selfies with it and post them on social media, et-al. Keep this "German Gem" safely in your garage. Buy one Japanese car as well, and use it without worries for all your commuting needs.
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Old 3rd February 2017, 20:25   #83
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Default Re: Not-so-major accident in Mercedes E-Class. 15 lakh rupees & 6 months before car returns!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
I think posting just the frontal damage pics is unfair when the underbody has taken the maximum hit. A large stone can rip the underbody apart.
Precisely my thought. The title is a bit of a misfit since there aren't any pics of the car's underbody damage. Cosmetic damage on the front only paints half the picture. This is an E Class isn't it? The spares are imported from outside the country and come with their own share of taxes?

Having said that, the bill looks certainly inflated by the dealer. Painting of left door? What for? Looks fine in the pics unless the stone managed to rip the under part of that door to have chipped the paint and cause rusting issues in the near future?

There seems to be some paint damage on the hood which might explain the hood repair bills.

Last edited by Nithesh_M : 3rd February 2017 at 20:32.
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Old 6th February 2017, 00:31   #84
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Default Re: Not-so-major accident in Mercedes E-Class. 15 lakh rupees & 6 months before car returns!

Its very sad that it happened and almost 15 lacs for repair is way too much. I couldn't read further as soon as i saw 4 screws costing Rs.12000. Are these screws being imported from Mars or what.
With these types of service / repair costs these luxury cars or even the German cars are the white elephants, admired by all and can only be fed by few.
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Old 6th February 2017, 21:24   #85
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Default Re: Not-so-major accident in Mercedes E-Class. 15 lakh rupees & 6 months before car returns!

Please find another response from my father. He is traveling and hence there was a delay in clarifying some of the points.

"One of the major point discussed in this forum is whether the accident was minor or major.

I don't think it is the main issue.


In my view, the main issue is the delay of more than six months in getting the car repaired and the harassment and mental agony we were passing through.

The dealer and insurance company are blaming each other for the delay. Dealer was claiming that the delay was on the part of the insurance company. Insurance company had maintained that it is the high cost of repair and the different estimates given by the dealer which delayed the whole process.

I think more clarification is required to remove the doubt about the level of damage to the car. I was driving the car at the time of the accident. It was around 8 pm and the road was bit dark. There was a police check post. To reduce the speed of vehicles, they had kept a barricade on the road. As this barricade was hit by several vehicles in the past, the reflectiveness of the metal had considerably reduced. Also due to damages in the past, it was not standing properly. So someone had kept a stone to ensure it does not fall down.

I saw the barricade only when we were few meters away from the same. I applied the brakes and the vehicle almost stopped but not before hitting the barricade and the stone. The stone did not rip the underbody and come out on the other side as doubted by some. Stone only hit the bumper and the radiator and the coolant leaked. Some hose to the air conditioner also got damaged. Engine stopped immediately and we had to tow the vehicle.

The stone/ barricade damaged the right head lamp. The barricade also hit the left side of the bumper and left side head lamp and it was damaged. The yellow paint seen in the photo is due to this. There was also some paint work required on the front left side door.

We have not taken photos of the underbody as there were no damages. Anyone going through the list of spares can understand this if they have a bit of technical knowledge. We have the photos of the front with bonnet open showing the damage to the coolant and A/C ducts.

There is no dispute between us and the dealer or insurance company about the spares which were changed. The inspection and dismantling were done in our presence. Even the assessor from the insurance company and the technical head of Mercedes Benz came from Pune.

We are only complaining about the unimaginably high cost of spares. Take example of the licence plate which cost around Rs. 10 K. Is there any German technology required in this? Is it imported or made in India? If imported why not they start making in India?

The cost of compressor oil is another example. Rs. 8724 for 250 ml. (Rs. 35 K for a litre!). Even if this is imported I cannot understand the costing.

Is there any transparency in pricing?Are there any controls on this from the Government of India? Does Benz or dealer give any information to customers about this type of pricing? I tried to check the prices of parts in India online. I could not find any. However, in several websites outside India, the prices are given and these are at a fraction of the prices the dealer quoted. We had a discussion with the Mercedes Benz technical head on this pricing. He simply said it is same with all dealers in India.

We even begged for some discounts on these prices as the margins appear to be extremely high. We even requested for a discount on the exorbitant labour charges which they refused.

We have a 10 year old Toyota Corolla. This is the car which kept us mobile during this period of trouble. When it comes to reliability, dependability, customer service, value for money etc., none of these luxury European cars and their dealers can come anywhere near Toyota. As someone rightly pointed out in this forum, if Toyota start making Lexus brand in India it will be a big blow to the European luxury car manufacturers in India. This is what happened in US when Toyota introduced Lexus brand in US.


Apart from all this, there was the harassment and mental agony we faced. I was in Africa for more than 25 years working even in very remote and difficult regions. We purchased this car with the savings I could make from living in Africa and sacrifice lot of luxury. We had a sentimental attachment to this car.

They harassed us for a long time and finally called us and said they are taking the car from us and paying us the IDV. It was a real shock. I could not sleep properly for some days. If it was an accident where the air bags were deployed and body or engine badly damaged, I could have accepted that. But when I clearly knew that most of the estimates were wrong I could not accept their offer for idv. This is when I decided to fight. Insurance had agreed to pay upto 15 Lakhs. The estimate by the dealer was much more. They also tried to scare me by saying the engine may be damaged and the car may not start. I was sure this was not going to happen as I clearly knew the impact of the accident on the car was not that high. At one stage I told them even if the cost of repair exceeds Rs. One crore, I am determined to get this car repaired. I agreed in writing that anything above the insurance approval I will pay. This is when they finally agreed to start the repair.


This type of harassment can happen to anyone. My brother who had an Alto car met with an accident and had to go through a similar type of harassment. Finally, he accepted the total loss claim and surrendered the car. They sold the car to their contact and the car was repaired by the buyer and running on our roads even after 5 years. It is also interesting to know the reaction of Mercedes Benz when we brought our problem to them. There were few mails and phone calls. When we took a firm stand, they agreed to send a technical person. How ever he was silently supporting the action taken by the dealer. We even escalated the issue to Mercedes Benz India MD. Not even a reply from his office.

Last edited by Aditya : 7th February 2017 at 09:04. Reason: As requested
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Old 7th February 2017, 14:50   #86
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Default Re: Not-so-major accident in Mercedes E-Class. 15 lakh rupees & 6 months before car returns!

Quote:
Originally Posted by himanshugoswami View Post
Honestly.....after reading reports like this and numerous others, IMHO, the most pragmatic policy is to buy Indian or Japanese cars in India. You will lose out on the snob value of the Germans, and in a few cases, the performance/fun to drive element, but at least you wont get ripped off when (a) buying the car and (b) running and repairing it. Even resale on the whole is better than that of the Germans.
I completely agree here...it's best to buy Japanese even though manufacturers like Honda are acting snobbish while selling basic spares like air/ oil filters over the counter...
I also believe that some sort of a watchdog/ consumer forum body should be actively involved in actually taking to task these Dealers/ car manufactures when it comes to these kind of issues. Ultimately it's people like us who have pay through our noses
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Old 7th February 2017, 19:06   #87
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Default Re: Not-so-major accident in Mercedes E-Class. 15 lakh rupees & 6 months before car returns!

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Originally Posted by soumna View Post
In my view, the main issue is the delay of more than six months in getting the car repaired and the harassment and mental agony we were passing through.
In my experience, Mercedes is expensive but they are decent with customer service. While we can argue about the unreasonably high cost of spare parts, it is the job of the insurance company to foot the bill in good faith. I feel SBI Insurance doesn't deal much with luxury cars and they panicked after hearing the quote. Bajaj Allianz routinely clears big ticket repairs (they are preferred insurance partners for Mercedes and BMW - German connection), I am not sure about SBI. They tried to force IDV on you and sell the car outside which would result in much smaller net payment. Insurance company has the strongest motive to harass you.

It would be very helpful to hear from others about options that exist for the owner in such situations. I feel the OP should have proposed the insurance company to pay him 15L cash and get the car repaired by himself in a private garage. Then the dealer would be under pressure to retain the business. Negotiating without leverage hardly works. Also before taking the car to the dealer, it is better to keep the private garage repair as an option and negotiate the charges you'd have to pay in case you decide not to get it repaired at the dealer after survey is done.
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Old 7th February 2017, 19:32   #88
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Default Re: Not-so-major accident in Mercedes E-Class. 15 lakh rupees & 6 months before car returns!

Quote:
Originally Posted by soumna View Post
In my view, the main issue is the delay of more than six months in getting the car repaired and the harassment and mental agony we were passing through.
Absolutely.

Quote:
Insurance company had maintained that it is the high cost of repair and the different estimates given by the dealer which delayed the whole process.
I would tend to go with this.

Quote:
We are only complaining about the unimaginably high cost of spares. Take example of the licence plate which cost around Rs. 10 K.
This was a rip off, unless it is one of those james bond type revolving number plate

Quote:
The cost of compressor oil is another example. Rs. 8724 for 250 ml.
Usually this would be under a 1000 bucks, maybe it is the brand mark up but then again one cant repair and get the AC filling up done outside. So for now they have a great way to rip the insurance company off. Wonder why the insurance company did not object?

Quote:
Is there any transparency in pricing?Are there any controls on this from the Government of India?
None whatsoever.

Quote:
However, in several websites outside India, the prices are given and these are at a fraction of the prices the dealer quoted. We had a discussion with the Mercedes Benz technical head on this pricing. He simply said it is same with all dealers in India.
Yes it is always cheaper to get stuff from outside if you can manage the logistics and customs. India generally is a rip off and i guess that is where maximum money is made by the brand and shared with dealers.


Quote:
Toyota start making Lexus brand in India it will be a big blow to the European luxury car manufacturers in India. This is what happened in US when Toyota introduced Lexus brand in US.
Premium cars from Toyota are not that cheap wrt parts, check the price of Altis headlight or say the rear brake pads, you will know.



Quote:
They harassed us for a long time and finally called us and said they are taking the car from us and paying us the IDV.
====This is when they finally agreed to start the repair.
This is totally a dealership level mess up or scam, they could have just avoided it in the first place. I don't think anyone including Merc is going to be bothered though. They still sell cars even without trying and not really looking up thousands in number.


Quote:
This type of harassment can happen to anyone.
It is becoming a common story these days, dealers taking people for ride, especially the ones who are not capable of technically challenging situations.

Quote:
It is also interesting to know the reaction of Mercedes Benz when we brought our problem to them. There were few mails and phone calls. When we took a firm stand, they agreed to send a technical person. How ever he was silently supporting the action taken by the dealer. We even escalated the issue to Mercedes Benz India MD. Not even a reply from his office.
Not really surprised, somehow none of the car brands operating in India seem to have any control over their dealers. MUL is the only one where there is some sort of pressure on the dealership to respond when an issue is raised, but there also dealer can get out of mess if they really decide to. Social media and forums like ours is making a small impact, albeit a small one.
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Old 8th February 2017, 15:46   #89
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Default Re: Not-so-major accident in Mercedes E-Class. 15 lakh rupees & 6 months before car returns!

Quote:
Originally Posted by androdev View Post
I feel the OP should have proposed the insurance company to pay him 15L cash and get the car repaired by himself in a private garage. Then the dealer would be under pressure to retain the business. Negotiating without leverage hardly works. Also before taking the car to the dealer, it is better to keep the private garage repair as an option and negotiate the charges you'd have to pay in case you decide not to get it repaired at the dealer after survey is done.
A couple of questions - (a) Once the insurer agrees to settle for IDV, doesn't the owner relinquish his rights on the vehicle ? (b) Is there an option to ask any insurer to pay in cash?
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Old 9th February 2017, 14:56   #90
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Default Re: Not-so-major accident in Mercedes E-Class. 15 lakh rupees & 6 months before car returns!

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Originally Posted by Rajeev1 View Post
A couple of questions - (a) Once the insurer agrees to settle for IDV, doesn't the owner relinquish his rights on the vehicle ? (b) Is there an option to ask any insurer to pay in cash?
The insurer can only give an offer for IDV. The owner doesn't relinquish his rights on the vehicle.

In most cases, it is almost impossible for the car owner to take the
car out and repair in a garage of his choice. The main reason is that the car is with the dealer for several months and they will demand huge storage charges. One reason for delaying the insurance claim can be this. Maybe this can be used as a lesson for others and do not hand over the vehicle to the dealer before processing the claim. I am not sure how this can be done as in most cases like hours the car could not be driven and had to be towed.
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