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Old 6th July 2009, 20:25   #1
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Default Fraudulent Acts by Skoda India and their Dealers

This is a long one, so grab a cupa Chai, sit back and DONT FALL OFF your chair.

I would like to put down my issue that I faced with my Skoda Octavia 1.9 TDI Ambiente in 2007.

I met with an accident on 30th July 2007 on the expressway. I had the car towed back to Pune and then given to the dealer for repairs.

The car took about 14 months to get repaired and came back driving pathetically the icing on the cake was that my dashboard which was perfectly intact even after the accident (I have photographs) had been replaced with a broken one.Once the car was ready for delivery I had the car taken to Acumen Motors that very hour as I did not want to give Skoda India the opportunity to tell me that I had put the fake non genuine parts in my car as they did with Harish Kanchan. I would also like to add that the person who stood by me like a rock through this entire ordeal was Harish Kanchan (harishv). He felt my pain as he was going through a very similar situation and we should all support his cause vehemently.

I had got in touch with Ramesh Karthik at Skoda India, who really was not very helpful initially. He said that Skoda India would send an engineer to check the car and give me a report. After 4 days when the report was ready I spoke to Mr. Karthik who said they would not disclose the report as I had to go back to the dealer to get my issue resolved.

Finally after speaking to Mr. Karthik who finally understood that I was not one of those customers who could be taken lightly he agreed to meet me in Bombay with Meghna. At the meeting I told him finally that the only way I would be willing to settle the matter is if I got a brand new car in exchange for the car that they had fitted with FAKE / NON - GENUINE parts.

Finally they agreed to give me a new car at a cost of Rs. 2,25,000/- in exchange for my old car. This process also took a very long time as I was not certain whether Skoda India would give me a brand new car or not.

The entire process from the date I had the accident till the date I received the brand new car was 19 months.

The harassment and amount of time invested in this case was second to none. I didn't ever believe this could happen with a luxury automobile manufacturer such as Skoda.

Here are some of the mails exchanged between Mr Karthik and Myself.


Iíve still not received a reply to the mail I sent you, Please do reply my mail point by point and I'm expecting a reply for your end no later than 48 hours. That mail was sent to you on 18th August 2008 and Iím yet to receive a reply.

As far as dud, non genuine parts in my car which you accept so in your reply I would like to let you know what needs to be done to proceed further. The last 10 % of your e mail hurriedly lists the dud non genuine parts which neither you nor any one at Skoda India can Identify how they came into my car, almost accusing me of putting them in.

I would like to let you know that in the entire process of solving my issue that unless we come down to how and what happened this case will not be closed from my end.

Also the list hurriedly prepared from your end is incorrect and for the most part incomplete. It lists that the radiator fan connector is non genuine when in actual fact the ENTIRE RADIATOR FAN ASSEMBLY (Auxiliary Fan) in NON GENUINE. It also does not list the parts I have photographed that are glaringly and most definitely non genuine , which list Iím expecting from you.

Please donít believe that Iím going to be rushed into getting my parts replaced in a hurry so that you can brush this matter under the carpet at the earliest to suit your convenience.

The only way Iím willing to proceed ahead is

1. The inspection will have to be done in my presence.
2. This time no incorrect half baked report will do, All the Non Genuine Parts will have to be listed in your report not conveniently excluding any of them.
3. The cost to have to car dismantled will be borne by Skoda India obviously
Now after having sent this mail to Mr. Karthik This is the reply I get back from him.

We at Skoda will not be able to pin point the exact communication or series of events that has happened during your interaction with the dealership. We can only make an assumption of the entire situation with the feedback given from your end and dealership and cannot ascertain anything in particular

We would once again request you to kindly give your approval for us to go ahead in replacing the parts as written in my earlier communication.
After receiving this mail I sent another mail back to Mr. Ramesh Karthik asking him in detail how these parts got into my car.

to which I got this reply

I would firstly like to clarify after the telephonic discussions had with you this morning that in our previous exchange of mails there is no question of accusing you for the happenings, my mail clearly states that it is as per the understanding which we had at that given point of time. Please understand that we will not be able to investigate the source of fitment of non genuine parts in your car.
To this mail of Mr. Ramesh Karthiks here was my reply


I would like a letter from your end (On Skoda Auto India's Letter Head) assuring me that there are no further non genuine / dud parts in my car. The letter should also specifically mention that if at a later date I discover that you have omitted certain parts in your list and find any more non genuine dud parts it will be your responsibility to ensure that those parts are replaced as well. If you have any issues on that you can send your engineer for a thorough check up.

I have a right to know how these parts got into my car.

If this is such a high level of mystery that you are unable to solve I feel its best if the people in Pune and Mumbai make that conclusion themselves.


Once this mail was Sent here is Mr. Karthiks Reply to me.

Please refer to Skodaís mail communication sent to you on the 12th & 23rd August and the last mail communication on the 3rd of September which amply clears your apprehensions.

From the manufacturers perspective we have clearly stated our findings and also the support which we can extend to you.

Kindly note that we will not be able to give you any further communication on this matter as your request is just a repetition of the same subject matter which was explicitly communicated to you.

However as soon as we receive your confirmation we shall do the needful at the earliest.

Trust you will cooperate and avoid any inconveniences.
Karthik Ramesh - Head - Customer Care & Training
Sad part is that today as of July 2009, Acumen Motors has been officially closed down by Skoda India. Acumen Motors are the ones that helped me identify the fake Non Genuine parts. They dismantled the entire front end of the car to identify that the Brake Discs, Radiator, Master Cylinder, Booster, Condenser and Compressor amongst many other parts were completely fake and non genuine. Acumen Motors had the car in their custody for over 2 months and their charges were reasonable as well. Their Charges were 11,000/- for parking, labor for dismantling as well as for a brand new battery as the one I had taken delivery of the car with was a dead battery. After the entire issue was resolved and I got my new car, Skoda India took over 6 months to pay Acumen Motors back for their charges.

I would like to mention that the person at Acumen Motors who really did go out of his way to help me was Mr. Bapat, who passed away shortly after my matter was resolved. I wouldn't have been able to have done what I did without his help and the entire team at Acumen Motors.

So the surprising part is that Skoda India shut down the good guys. I don't get it DO YOU???????

Last edited by Technocrat : 7th July 2009 at 19:07. Reason: Making the post easier to read :)
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Old 6th July 2009, 21:14   #2
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Its gets even worse.... these guys really need to be taught a lesson. Are you guys still working on a class action suit?
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Old 6th July 2009, 21:16   #3
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Yup, this is what causes serious apprehensions any time I begin to think about buying a Skoda. The cars may be good from the factory, but clearly, there are a lot of bad apples in the organisation (both in the company and in their dealers) who have a system-wide scam going on!

It's bad enough that their charges are exorbitant. When you couple the exorbitant charges with being scammed into running cars with fake parts, I believe it amounts to grounds for a class action criminal suit. Criminal because using fake parts on crucial components such as brakes / suspension / steering could easily cause an accident for which people will simply assume that the driver was being rash or negligent.

Rant over!
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Old 6th July 2009, 21:19   #4
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Man, whats happening. It starts to rain complaints on Skoda delaers. After the initial thread (harishv) I thought there would be some improvement. But seems itsonly going worse. After investing so much of money on the vehicle, they rip the customers like this. Too bad.

Hope they learn soon.
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Old 6th July 2009, 21:23   #5
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Damn man.
This is outrageous.
Something really needs to be done.
How about a group complaint to Skoda Auto Czech republic/ Skoda Auto India?
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Old 6th July 2009, 21:31   #6
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Skoda seems to have got entangled with the "benami" business crowd, it seems. This is what happens when one deals with people with lotsa cash but no class. Most of the luxury/upmarket dealerships in India are owned by politicians/underworld business types and run by their shady satraps.They do employ a few shiny middle class educated types in the showroom floor to create the ambience of respectability, that's all. How they must laugh at an individual customer who pays his hard earned cash for a luxury car he wants to enjoy and experience?. Expecting on-the-level business practices from such a crowd is like expecting the impossible.Haven't you noticed that most of the luxury cars that should be self driven here are actually driven by hired drivers?. I can vouch that more than half the owners are not even aware of the worth of the cars they own. There are exceptions, but the exceptions only prove the norm.I say buy a luxury car in India as long as you don't spend your hard earned cash for it, and don't really care what it costs to maintain. They don't cater to the conscious buyer here. Caveat Emptor.

Last edited by nickatnite : 6th July 2009 at 21:34.
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Old 6th July 2009, 21:36   #7
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I still dont see how people get courage to buy a SKODA after such horror stories and callous attitude of SKODA.

At least i will never buy anything from SKODA nor i will let anybody from my family to buy.

This is outrageous how SKODA and its dealers are taking customers for a ride and the result is lowest Ethics i have even seen by a Car company.
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Old 6th July 2009, 21:38   #8
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What's more intriguing is the (seemingly plentiful) availability of spurious spare parts of Skoda. It seems that making duplicate parts of Skoda is more than a cottage industry..:

@nickatnite While I partially agree with you, it must be remembered that many of those who buy MB and BMW (though maybe poorly-educated) are all extremely well-informed and highly-demanding and yes they do keep track of every rupee they spend. If you ask me, I will certainly think thrice before putting a duplicate radiator assembly in of their cars.

IMO Skoda's problems are unique, maybe someone is running a parallel business thats been run from the same office?

Last edited by sandeepmdas : 6th July 2009 at 21:50.
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Old 6th July 2009, 21:46   #9
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Since you have got a replacement car can you really take this up in court to save other customers? The very fact that they agreed to give you a new car means that skoda has agreed that there was a wrong doing somewhere and they wanted to settle it out of court.

I mean can the customer join with t-bhp or any automotive magazine / SIAM to teach skoda a lesson on how not to replicate this elsewhere on some poor soul.

Where are the lawyers?
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Old 6th July 2009, 21:46   #10
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Man! This gets worse by the day.

Are these spurious parts freely available in auto parts shops? Or are Skoda dealers the primary consumer? There must be a big enough market for them to be manufactured.
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Old 6th July 2009, 21:50   #11
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This is shocking to say the least!!!
time for me to find a permanent and reliable garage for my skoda. I'm not stepping a foot in skoda's workshop even if they offer me free service for life.
And yes my next car is definately NOT going to be a skoda.
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Old 6th July 2009, 21:51   #12
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@ flyram: This is totally absurd! I am glad you got out of this and that Harish helped you out. It seems like my forgery of an old Octavia was a minor scar compared to all the bad bashing you have taken.

Oh Skoda you get to a new low everyday! When will this end? Where is the holier than thou Skoda_Corporate?
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Old 6th July 2009, 21:56   #13
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Thieves. Thats just the right word for them.
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Old 6th July 2009, 22:01   #14
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Man you are scarring the daylights out of me ,cos the time i heard that yeti may be coming to india i have postponed my car purchase and will wait for that ,but after hearing such horror stories i might be dissuaded as i have a small heart and not too much cash to throw around
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Old 6th July 2009, 22:07   #15
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Hey Flyram,

Ur lucky to get a brand new SODA even if it means after 19 months. i think we need to take up this issue up with some Vigilance Dept who can conduct a raid simultaneously on these SODA dealerships. Its very clear now that the Co is also involved to some extent with these shady dealers.

By the way please avoid further issues and get the new car serviced outside the dealership.

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