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Old 19th April 2008, 09:08   #1
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Default Horrible accident while test driving SX4 (Mob/dealer beat up the driver)

Guys, if you remember - I had booked an SX4 from Bimal.

I met with a very bad accident (thankfully, no big life damage happened) but I've had a pretty bad experience. Here's my big log about it.

Why is this post in this thread? IMO, its the SX4 #$&@ EPS that was screwed up.

My prior test-drive involved heavy traffic and before the booking I had casually mentioned that I wanted to do a long drive to the sales guy. Though I made the booking without this (based on all the reviews that people had written), the sales person offered to bring the car during noon near Intermediate ring road.

Now, Its just become a habit of mine to fasten the seatbelt as I sit inside the car. I was actually on the phone while I sat in the car and without my own conscious instruments I seem to have fastened the seat-belt. Good thing I did because that piece of belt saved me!

I'm on intermediate ring road off domlur at about 2:00 PM now, on the middle lane. There is a slow vehicle ahead so, its time to get to the right-most lane. Look at ORVM; Turn on Indicator; Look at ORVM again; Do the same maneuver that I've done a billion times while I was in the US on the Pontiac G6 - slightly twist the steering.

Zoom! The damn car took an oblique turn and hit the Divider! I guess it hit and breached the bonnet that the airbags popped out. Panic and further panic. My mind just stopped working - instead of pressing the brake my instincts made me stiffen up and one of the unfortunate side-effects was that my right foot stiffened up too. I'm now not only hit but further accelerating the car with no visibility (due to the air bags) and a highly confused / startled mind. All I remember next is experiencing some high speed whirling around. Big sound. Smell of Petrol and smoke and some bushes right in front of me.

There were THREE other dealer guys (Why? oh why?!) in the demo-car. As the last one exited hurriedly, he nudged me and said "Take your foot off the accelerator". I realized, I had still been pressing the pedal - I took it off and I thought the damn thing might just catch fire anytime soon (heavy smokes!).

Whatever it is - the crumple zones, the seat belts, the air bags. I came out unscathed! ZERO, Zilch injuries to me. The radio was still playing and it felt like the car was taking pride in showing off it's safety features.

Now comes the second phase of the accident - where the hurting happens.

Apparently, as the car spun out of control, it seems to have hit an auto on the road and you know what happens when the auto 'community' sees it. There were already about 7 to 10 auto guys walking towards me. I was so damn confused. Bam - someone hit me. Somebody else pushed me on the floor. Someone kicked.

I thought I'm dead today. I just couldn't think a thing and my instincts did a pretty good job of protecting me. I curled up with my hands covering the head. Beating and more beating. After what seemed like a while (well, time was extraordinarily dilated so I had no idea) someone pulled me up, snatched my driver's license and my company badge that I was wearing. Beat me up more. I think I have some awesome instincts - I never allowed damage to the face somehow. I now had the chance to see what had happened. A Big traffic jam, tyre skid marks that left fractal spirals that I could trace all the way to the horizon starting off from near the divider! Then I looked at the car - OH SH!+! It had completely crumpled. But it saved me. For a moment I was awe struck by the amazing engineering that has gone into this car to save me.

I quickly looked around for the dealers that were with me - they seemed to be 'up', all I was worried about was only that at that moment, frankly because there is an auto that's damaged too. Were there passengers in the auto? What happened to the auto driver?

While avoiding the beating, I managed to spot the auto driver limp up towards the crowd. By now, there were also random other people who stopped by and started beating me up.

I had given up already and now that I'd gained senses I started speaking - I pleaded for letting me go that I'm sorry that it was a mistake. But every word I uttered sparked anger. Someone angrily said "Call someone!". I realized my phone isn't with me (maybe its inside the damaged car). I called my wife and asked her to bring a few localites (Kannadigas) because I thought it would be of some help. I'm a tamil and thankfully I hadn't spoken a tamil word until then.

Another muscular, well-built guy came up and talked to the mob in kannada. I think he said something to the effect of "I'll take care of what should be done. I'm from a political party. You guys leave it". He put me, one of the three dealers and the limping auto-driver into an auto and we fled while he followed us close in his bike.

Later, he stopped us all and told me "If you had continued to stay there, they would have killed you". He introduced himself as "Ali". I was shaking in all the fear and cried and fell on his feet. He truly saved me and to me, he was more than my God. It is truly a scene that Mr.Gandhi would have felt so good to see - a compassionate muslim brother helped a human being beaten up because 5h!t happened.

The dealer folks seemed to be reasonable at first. "What to do sir. We should be glad we are all safe. For a damage on this scale, all life is safe. No loss of life". I just couldn't reply - I was still crying.

We reached St.John's hospital but they refused to admit the auto-driver. FIR needed, it seems. What the?! As we prepared to leave, another car from the dealer arrived on the scene. An angry-looking man came out and started beating me. This time around, I couldn't protect my face and my face swell up immediately and I could feel it.

... after a few hours: everybody has been medically treated. Things seem to be okay.

But, the dealer shoves a paper and asks me to sign on it. The paper reads something to the effect of "I'm responsible for the mishap. I understand that the entire value of the car isn't provided by insurance" (which my lawyer says is BS if the dealer did the right things before making this a demo car) "Hereby I provide cheque dt blah number blah which is a blank cheque as a security instrument to the dealer. Upon failure to pay the difference amount between car value and insurance amount, I authorize the dealer to use this cheque to take action against me". Forget the letter, its a piece of regular paper. I was feeling iffy about providing a blank cheque - whatever the situation may be. But the dealer wasn't just shoving the paper. He was using force - about 15 guys touching me, pushing me and threatening to beat me up and all that. I'm only myself, my 60 year old father and my wife at the scene (police station).

The 'difference' amount they talk about is something to the turn of 30% of the value of the car's ex-showroom price - that works out to about 2.something lakhs? What about depreciation? What about road-tax that they would mostly save? What about scrap-metal? They were just not willing to listen.

Secondly, I just feel their car was in a bad condition.

Back to the story... A few minutes later, I'm arrested for having damaged govt property (Divider and a Fence). Then my father starts using his connections, etc.,. and finally I get bail and support from the police. Thankfully, I'm out. But I think its highly unprofessional of the dealer to have used force and threatened me to do something as illogical as provide a blank cheque. IMO, all that the dealer wanted was to convert this into a criminal case by making this cheque bounce and then use it to pressurize me.

Things are under control now. I think they are going the legal way. They seem to be powerful people and I'm just an ordinary guy. What do I do?

I already thought of complaining to Maruti but I'm not in a position to write publicly on the ways the dealer resorted to using force in order to get the max out of me. Secondly, I agree that its a bad thing that happened to all of us - an accident. But things do happen. We should really be thankful that a highly improbable event happened - that no life was lost inspite of an accident at this scale.

If you guys see the pic of the car, you'd actually freak out. But I'm not sure if its a good thing to keep the pic on the internet and in public. Infact I'm **** scared to write about it here (Are there words here that they can use against me?) but I know you guys would offer some useful piece of advise about this and hence I'm taking the 'risk'.
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Old 19th April 2008, 12:18   #2
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@sunson - Sorry to hear your ordeal. It must have been aweful in such a nightmare situation. Take the whole experience this way - you were involved in a life threatening accident and mob fury and you came out alive (with few injurious).. so carry on with your new lease of life.

BTW, make a complain to Maruti regarding the bahavior of the dealer. More that what they should be concerned about your well being, they are keen on passing the accident cost to you. Morever, the accident happens in their test drive car, and hence the dealer (and Maruti) is morally responsible for the aftermath.

Anyway, hope you got rid of this terrible experience and back to normal.
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Old 20th April 2008, 09:01   #3
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Sorry to hear about this mishap. It certainly sounds really nightmarish and i know the passerby crowd loves these kind of situations and want to throw a few fists around. Ridiculously coward J#rks who will hightail away if in a even fight.

Hope you were not injured by all the beating that you got. Take care and write a complaint to maruti about the incident in detail and also mention the dealer is using coersion to make you sign all papers and mark a copy to your lawyer.
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Old 20th April 2008, 12:00   #4
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I really pity you about this incident. Thank god, your life is saved with SX4 safety features, however you have faced other issues and should be a nightmare for some time.
Is that really the EPS error or human error, was the EPS light showing up when you started your car to indicate that there was a problem in EPS?

The crowd shouln't handled you in that way, you have just survived from an accident. To avoid this situation think we should pretend that we are still unconscious so that they will take us to hospital first without speaking.
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Old 20th April 2008, 12:16   #5
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Oh my god, good that all are safe but I could feel the shiver went through my spines while reading what happened with you.

What has happened to people here. I understand it was a mistake but that does not mean that people start beating anybody left right.

Don't know what to suggest you, but I doubt if Maruti will even help you in this case. A legal cover is the best option if things are going worst.

Were you driving in India after long time or what?
Originally Posted by sunson View Post
Guys, if you remember - I had booked an SX4 from Bimal.

I met with a very bad accident (thankfully, no big life damage happened) but I've had a pretty bad experience. Here's my big log about it.

Last edited by rkbharat : 20th April 2008 at 12:18.
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Old 20th April 2008, 14:30   #6
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Very unfortunate accident, get yourself a good lawyer that is the only advice i can give you.

I dont think the paper you signed will hold any value in a court of law Drop an email to Maruti on the behavior of the dealer.
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Old 20th April 2008, 18:19   #7
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Originally Posted by gopinathann View Post
The crowd shouln't handled you in that way, you have just survived from an accident. To avoid this situation think we should pretend that we are still unconscious so that they will take us to hospital first without speaking.
Exactly man.. That's the way to escape from a mob. or at least pretend like we are really hurt.

Such a horrific incident man. Come out of it and forget it fast.
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Old 20th April 2008, 19:21   #8
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Oh god, what a horrible experience. I can believe mob behaving like that, but the dealer beating you up, now that is too much. I think Bimal has taken the law into it's hands, I hope they will pay for this moronic act.
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Old 20th April 2008, 19:31   #9
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damn this is really scary. Please get a good lawyer & act as he advices.

The only good thing is that you are alive & safe after the Mob's Fury, God bless the noble soul who helped you.

Wishing you all the luck
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Old 20th April 2008, 19:35   #10
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The dealers behaviour should be reported to Maruti for sure.

Demo cars go through a lot of torture and should've been insured by them.

This could have been a human/ EPS error combined with speed, which explains the handling part.

Very unfortunate and dreadful experience, please get proper legal and medical help.
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Old 20th April 2008, 19:40   #11
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Horrific story this is... Anyways, glad that you survived the accident and then the mob. Hope you get over the bad memories soon.

Be careful while you drive next time anyway. Forget your US driving experiences...lane switching is not just the same here. This is India, here one has to learn driving from scratch even if he/she is an expert driver in a developed country. And do not wear your company's badge outdoors if you work for an IT company, as this would only help to increase the anger of the public/mob in such a situation.

Last edited by clevermax : 20th April 2008 at 19:45.
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Old 20th April 2008, 19:47   #12
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Sunson, we have a saying in hindi ... "sar salamath to paagi hazaar" .. all's well that end's well.
Ps. I am no grandpa.

However, I think you need to pay attention to the fact that there could have been something wrong with the unit you were driving!. There can be no reason why the
steering should behave so erractically.

What I cannot understand is that while you were doign the "shoulder checks", presumably the vehicle in front of you is not the auto in question. While you were trying to get into the right lane the Auto was not teher .. else you would not have turned. Then the question arises is where did the Auto appear from.?

The reason being, simply put.. you nned to have the facts in the right sequence with regards to the accident, like your speed etc.. so that the correct details can be used by your lawyers incase need arises.

Drive safe,
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Old 20th April 2008, 19:48   #13
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Sorry to hear about the incident. I do not think dealer can do anything against you with the letter you have given as long as you have not given a blank cheque. You should escalate the incident to Maruti.

I can understand the behaviour of the crowd eventhough it is not right. But the dealer beating you up at a police station is too much. What was the police doing at that time?

Was the accident due to EPS or mistake from your end? Do not worry brother, everyone makes mistakes. May Allah take care of you. Alhamdulillah (Praise to Allah)
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Old 20th April 2008, 19:56   #14
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I already thought of complaining to Maruti but I'm not in a position to write publicly on the ways the dealer resorted to using force in order to get the max out of me.
a really scary chain of incidents. please do try and contact maruti. ask your lawyer to draft you a letter and report all these incidents and get as much assistance as possible
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Old 20th April 2008, 19:58   #15
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^ I concur.

Best bet is to appraise Maruti of what happened and get them involved too. As long as the company is involved, the dealers wont try any more nasty tricks on you.
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