State consumer commission: Car manufacturer, dealer penalised for selling old model as new to Chandigarh man
For deficiency in service and adopting unfair trade practice by selling an old car model as newer one, the state consumer disputes redressal commission directed Ford India Pvt Ltd and its agent to pay ₹50,000 in compensation to a city resident. The commission also directed the company to either replace the defective car or refund ₹22.10 lakh to the customer.
Vivek Kundu, a Sector 38 resident, stated in his complaint, that he had approached Sidhant Motors (Tara Ford) in Hisar, Haryana, which is the authorised dealership of Ford India (opposite party) to buy its Endeavour Trend 2.2 L, 4x4 MT. He bought the SUV in January 2017 for ₹22. 10 lakh.
However, within a month, the dashboard began to rattle with excessive noise and vibrations. In February, it broke down several times, parts had to be replaced, wipers began making shuddering sounds and tyres developed cracks.
He said the vehicle had been manufactured in April 2016, instead of December 2016, as represented by the agent. Accusing them of sheer unfair trade practices by selling off an old model as a brand new vehicle, he demanded that his vehicle be replaced with a new one.
In its reply, Ford India–Gurgaon (opposite party no.2) which is the corporate office of Ford India and Ford India–Tamil Nadu (opposite party no.1), said they were neither necessary nor proper parties and as such, the complaint against them is liable to be dismissed.
“The complaint is liable to be dismissed as the complainant has miserably failed to establish any manufacturing defect in the vehicle by leading any expert evidence,” added Ford.
To ascertain the true picture, the commission directed the director of Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, to constitute a team of two experts to look into the matter and submit a report to this commission. As per report, there were defects.
The commission directed Ford India–Gurgaon and Ford India–Tamil Nadu and their agent in Hisar to jointly and severally, replace the vehicle with a brand new vehicle of same specifications/ features within period of 45 days from the date of receipt of certified copies of this order. In case, the same is not available for delivery, then, the cost of the vehicle i.e. ₹22,10,489 is be refunded to the complainant.
The commission also directed them to pay ₹50,000 in compensation for ‘deficient service’ and for adopting unfair trade practice by selling an old model, along with ₹25,000 as litigation cost