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Mahindra Thar: My topsy turvy buying experience, now resolved

The plan was to get it delivered to me on my birthday, 13th Feb, but I thank my stars that it didn't come that day!

BHPian 13thpsycho recently shared this with other BHPians.

I want to share an incident that took place on 24th February 2021, in Patna.

I was on the lookout for a new car since November last year and finally got my hands on the all-new Mahindra Thar in Mystic Copper colour. This colour was never my first choice but my cousin had booked the petrol automatic in this colour so I didn't mind it as long as I got a new car. The more I look at the colour the more I like it. It was the same feeling when I saw the brown Superb or the brown Duster for the first time, over time it starts to look more and more unique. The plan was to get it delivered to me on my birthday, 13th Feb, but I thank my stars that it didn't come that day!

I had to get the booking transferred to my name to get this car delivered. Here is where the problems started to arise.

Problem 1

My cousin had booked the car in October so he had got a deal to get the car at the introductory prices. The dealer then told me that they will have to open a booking under my name and they cannot offer me introductory prices. Mr. Gopal mentioned - either you take the car with new prices or cancel the car. Eventually, I had to agree with them. Problem resolved!

Problem 2

The second issue was that I told them that I have my own insurance agent, who does insurance for all my cars and bike, I will get it done through him. He had offered me insurance that was Rs. 26000/- cheaper than the dealer prices. The salesman at Leader Automobiles, Patna, Mr. Gopal, told me that the company does not allow insurance from other companies. I would have to take it from them for the first year. I told them to give this to me in writing. He made me speak to his GM and I told him the same thing. He said he will discuss with management and get back to me. Eventually, they agreed and told me I can get my insurance done. Problem resolved!

Problem 3

A day or two before my birthday, Mr. Gopal calls me up and asks me - what are you doing with the booking, are you taking the car or not? I was stunned. When did I say I wasn't taking the car? My bank had already cleared my funds even before I spoke to Mahindra. So the delay is from their end and he is telling me this? He then goes on to tell me that I have customers who are willing to give me one lakh in black to get the car delivered to them and the dealer will not hold the car for long and the dealer will cancel your brothers booking and give the car to someone else. What amazing hospitality I have to say and well trained Mahindra sales staff!

Problem 4

He then called me up and told me to take an extended warranty for 4 years / 1,20,000 kms. I straight away told him ok for it. Little did I know it was an extended warranty for one additional year,  not four. Three years warranty comes with the car. Maybe I misunderstood or the famed Mr. Gopal tried to trick me into buying it.

Problem 5

I had visited the showroom on 19th of Feb as they had mentioned I can drive my car for a bit and get a feel of the petrol engine. I was excited to drive my new baby, arranged a time and reached there only to find out the car wasn't there. They had sent the car to the workshop for anti rust coating etc. Before this, they had sent me an invoice which had the break up of the cost. Everything was in place but there was an additional charge of Rs. 9,500/- for anti rust coating and paint protection. I told them specifically that I din't want it, I will get it done from someone I know. Mr. Gopal tells me that anti rust coating is already done and I will have to pay Rs. 3,500 for it. Guys, do you see what is happening here?

The Delivery

I got a message around 2 pm on 24th Feb that the car is ready and the number plate has arrived. I finally got the car delivered to me yesterday at around 4 pm. The car had an ODO reading of 135 kms. I found it to be reasonable considering the commute they have to do from the yard to the showroom and workshop before delivery, mostly for PDI, cleaning and washing, I am assuming. I was ready to forget my sales experience as soon as I drove out of the gates of this dealership but guess what happens next?

There was very little fuel in the car so the first thing was to go fuel up. After about 2 kilometres of driving there was a ding on the instrument cluster. The check engine light came on. I thought it is going to go away after I stop and fuel up. The petrol pump was close so I decided I will stop and check there. On reaching the pump I noticed white smoke coming out of the front grill. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I quickly called up the showroom and informed the sales team of this trouble. They got me connected to the workshop and soon I was driving back to the workshop. So I got the car delivered to me, filled petrol and gave it back to the company.

While driving back to the workshop, a few more things started cropping up. The instrument cluster lit up with traction control, hill hold/decent control, engine check and cruise control lights. The car wasn’t moving over 50-60 km/hr and was stuck in one gear at around 2,000 rpm. Apart from this, the gear indicator on the MID was blank in manual mode. The car refused to shift up or down. The AC wasn’t working as well. Blower came on but there was no cool air from the AC.

Did I make a mistake buying a Mahindra Thar? How is it possible that within a couple of kilometres from the showroom the car electronics start going crazy? Who is to blame? Is Mahindra providing shoddy goods and robbing us of our money? Or is it the dealers, who haven’t done proper PDI or training? No matter what the case is, I am the one to lose. I need your help and suggestions as to how I should proceed with this matter. I have already registered a complaint with Mahindra through their customer care number. Any and every help would be welcome.

BHPian 13thpsycho shares an update:

I got the car on 25th evening, the very next day. I was on call with Mahindra guys till around 10 pm on 24th night. They weren't able to sort out the issue then but they finally did the next day when the parent company sent in their tech.

The problem, as they mentioned, was with moisture getting into the connector of the wiring harness. They cleaned the connector and attached it and everything seems to be working absolutely fine as of now. They have also ordered a replacement part for the car which should arrive in a few days.

One important lesson learnt guys - the first thing to do in a scenario like this is to register a complaint through the parent company's customer care, either mail or through a call. Don't forget to take the complaint number. This makes the dealer work faster and also exposes their weakness to the company. This will not only make dealerships maintain trained staff who can handle things on their own but also improve our overall experience.

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