A decade after Mehul Thakkar approached the Maharashtra State Consumer Commission demanding that a luxury car manufacturer refund Rs36.42 lakh, the entire amount he paid to buy a car that had a manufacturing defect, the panel ruled in his favour. The manufacturer will also have to pay the interest and a compensation of Rs 2 lakh as the vehicle had a manufacturing defect.
Thakkar, had purchased the luxury car worth Rs34.88 lakh on July 28, 2003 and he had also paid registration charges of Rs1.54 lakh.
According to his complaint, the car broke down several times in just a few days and within a year and a half the turbo charger and the engine of the car needed repair. He said he couldn’t drive the car for a considerable period as its spare parts weren’t available in the market.
Thakkar’s repeatedly requested the manufacturer to replace the car but to no avail. He approached the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in 2007 seeking refund of the amount he had spent to buy the car and the registration charges. Thakkar had also asked for payment of Rs20 lakh towards cost of repair and compensation of Rs15 lakh.
The car manufacturer and its authorised dealer contested the claims made by Thakkar. The company denied that the car had any manufacturing defect and alleged that the car might have had issues owing to the July 2005 deluge.
Thakkar rebuttaled saying that a complaint before the National Consumer Commission in 2007 had raised the same issue regarding the same model. He also referred to an observation made by the NCC that the car maker had recalled around 1.3 million cars of different variants built between 2002 and 2005 because of manufacturing defects.
The state commission held that the car had a manufacturing defect. The commission also said the car had problems even before it suffered alleged damages in the floods.
It asked the company to refund the amount of Rs 36.42 lakh with 12% interest per annum from February 2007, when the complaint was filed and a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for causing Thakkar mental agony.