Airbag failure: City consumer court directs Hyundai to pay Rs 2.50 lakh compensation
The compensation amount is split into-- Rs 2 lakh as compensation of malfunction of the airbag safety system of the car in 2016 , Rs 40,000 towards mental and physical agony and Rs 10,000 towards costs of litigationUpdated: Jan 25, 2020 16:29 IST
The Pune district consumer disputes redressal forum has directed Hyundai Motor Company to pay Rs 2.50 lakh compensation to a car owner for the malfunction of an airbag which did not open during the accident.
The compensation amount is split into-- Rs 2 lakh as compensation of malfunction of the air bag safety system of the car in 2016 , Rs 40,000 towards mental and physical agony and Rs 10,000 towards costs of litigation.
Pune district consumer disputes redressal forum president Umesh Jawalikar and members Kshitija Kulkarni and Sangita Deshmukh passed the judgement on January 15. The order was made available on January 15.
Car owner Tarachand Bhapkar, a Pune resident, filed a complaint dated June 1, 2016, under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. He stated that he bought Hyundai I 20 Sportz Car from Kundan Cars Private Limited with extended warranty till June 2018. During an accident on April 3,2016 at Waki in Baramati, the car airbags did not deploy, thus, putting his life at risk. The front portion of car was damaged.
On April 5, 2016, he contacted the company for the issue, but, received no reply. On April 19,2016, Bhapkar was given an estimate of Rs 3.54 lakh for repairs.
“The company has conducted unfair trade practice by misleading him to believe that their products are having high safety features but in reality the air bags did not deploy. There is a manufacturing defect in the car and the company had neither given any reasoning nor investigated the issue. Bhapkar also sent a notice through International Consumer Rights Protection Council on May 1, 2016,” the judgement stated citing Bhapkar’s complaint.
The company in its defence said that the impact of the jerk could not reach the sensor as a result of which the airbags did not deploy. Collision did not take place in front of the sensor and therefore airbags did not deploy.
“The Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) air bag deployment depends upon a number of set conditions built into the logic of the control unit. The front air bags are designed to inflate in a frontal collision depending on the intensity, speed or angles of impact from a front collision. In case, these conditions are not met, then air bags would not inflate. The impact on the car should be direct and should meet predetermined set values of sudden deceleration in the car movement. However, in this case, the nature of the impact did not meet those said conditions. In the accident of the complainant, there was side angle collision and impact is of low intensity side impact on upper part of the RH side corner. So, the sufficient impact/criteria to deploy air bags is not recorded in the air bag control module, which justifies the air bag non-deployment. Our technical team observations confirm that vehicle air bag system was functioning properly and there is no manufacturing defect on this vehicle air bag system,” the company submitted before the forum.
However, Pune district consumer disputes redressal forum president Umesh Jawalikar and members Kshitija Kulkarni and Sangita Deshmukh in their common judgement, rejected the claims of the company.
“The company has tried to make an attempt to louse up the real issue. A person spent a huge amount to save his life but this case clearly goes to show that complainant was taken for a ride. The company has given a lame explanation by stating that impact of jerk could not reach the sensor, and as a result, air bags could not deploy”, stated the order
The forum further directed the company that the compensation be paid within six weeks from the date of the receipt of the order.