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A Renault dealership in Mangalore has been ordered by a consumer court to pay Rs 9.23 Lakh as compensation for selling a faulty Renault Duster. The order came from the consumer forum in the coastal city of Mangalore, Karnataka. According to the Renault Duster owner who is the complainant in this case, the SUV threw up several issues in the period of ownership.
When an individual purchases a new car, it is with the hope of using it for a long period while having to spend minimal amounts on maintenance.The last thing a new car buyer expects is for the car to break down or suffer from premature wear and tear.
Well, premature wear and tear is what happened according to the Renault Duster's owner in this case. Mangalore-based advocate Ismail Sunnal bought a Renault Duster from TVS Sundaram Iyengar and Sons Ltd - An Authorised Renault Dealership. The SUV costed him Rs 8.64 lakh (ex-showroom) and road taxes, registration, etc costed him Rs 1.94 lakh more.
Mr Ismail Sunnal's problems started around 19,000 kilometres into the ownership of the Renault Duster. A loud ‘thud' while the car was being driven led Ismail to check under the hood of the car where he found the radiator assembly had broken off. Seems like that was just the start of the troubles.
The service advisors at the dealership did not admit that the car was at fault and instead blamed Ismail Sunnal's driving style. The dealership even went to the extent of asking Ismail Sunnal to purposely crash his car so that insurance can be claimed for the radiator replacement. Ismail Sunnal was very clear that the car must be fixed under warranty, but the dealership denied to do it.
They instead literally tied the radiator in place with some twine. Surprisingly though the string held the radiator in place for about 13,000 kilometres more when the second major problem struck the Duster.
The suspension of the car had given way and Ismail was asked to leave the car at the dealership. 12-days had passed and there was no sign of work being done on the car. It was then that Ismail Sunnal being an advocate, took it to the consumer court.
After a three-year-long legal tussle, the consumer court in Mangalore has ruled in favour of Ismail Sunnal. The Renault dealership has been ordered to pay Rs 8.64 lakh (ex-showroom price of the SUV) as compensation.
In addition to that, the repair charges undertaken my Ismail Sunnal in the past amounting to Rs 23,000 and Rs 25,000 for compensation towards mental stress and pain would also have to be paid by the dealership. The consumer forum also ordered that the dealership pay Rs 10,000 as cost of the complaint.
This instance might make it seem like the Renault Duster is a problem-ridden car. However, the fact is that it is one of the most reliable cars on sale in India and is also pretty rugged.
Ismail Sunnal had also complained of a few other things including water leaking into the cabin and air-conditioning-related issues. It is true that after-sales service provided by many dealerships in India is sub-standard.
However, the Renault Duster being a sub-standard product is something that is difficult to believe. Yet another thing to be noticed is that the two major problems listed out, occurred with a long gap between them. Once also cannot help but notice that there have been no other such complaints against the Renault Duster
Wear and tear of parts is common and this could also be the case here. A car no matter how well-built, will eventually see its parts break-down if not used properly. This Renault Duster might be counted as one such example.