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Mahindra & Mahindra, Mumbai, and their dealer based out the Industrial Area at Chandigarh, Harbir Automotive Pvt. Ltd., were asked to pay Rs 60,000 as compensation for rust on the roof of a Scorpio SUV. The order came from the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, and was in favor of Fardikot resident Gurmail Singh Sekhon.
Gurmail Singh Sekhon bought a Mahindra Scorpio on 10 September 2017 from an authorized dealer. He paid Rs 13.77 lakh for a new SUV. However a day later, the blower controls of the car stopped working. The dealer promised to fix the busted controls, but never got around to doing it.
A few days later, while getting the Mahindra Scorpio washed at a service station, some one on the staff found a dent, and rust on the roof of the SUV. Mr. Sekhon felt cheated by Mahindra and the dealer, and he filed an e-complaint on 29 September 2017.
Filing this e-complaint made no difference. The dealer and the manufacturer both stated that Mr. Sekhon did not report the defect earlier to any authorized service station, and that there was no job-card to support the claim.
After hearing both sides of the story, the Forum said that the complaint filed by Mr. Sekhon was supported by an affidavit. Mr. Sekhon had also sent an e-mail to the dealer pointing out the rust on the roof of the Mahindra Scorpio. Further investigation of records and photographic evidence revealed that there appeared to be roughness in the paint and dented area. They also mentioned that these problems were highlighted after 18 days of delivery of the vehicle. "This roughness in the paint on the small portion of the roof cannot be taken that these were not done or say self-inflicted by the complainant to make out a case", the Forum stated.
While in the process of fighting the case, Mahindra and their dealer offered to remove the roughness and have the roof re-painted. Mr. Sekhon countered their offer and said he wanted a replacement of the Scorpio. However the Forum stated that the SUV had already done 25,000 kilometers with no visible defects outside of the rust on the roof. They stated that Mr. Sekhon would be compensated for the rusty roof.
The Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum then directed the dealer and Mahindra to pay Rs 50,000 to Mr. Sekhon. The fine was for deficiency in service and unfair trade practice which caused mental agony. They were ordered to pay additional Rs 10,000 towards litigation charges.
Thoughts About a Rs 60,000 Fine For A Rusty Roof
Ideally Mahindra should have replaced the SUV. Or any other manufacturer for that matter. Regular folk pay a lot of their vehicles and the least manufacturers can do is give us quality produce!