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The apex consumer commission has asked Maruti Suzuki and one of its distributors to compensate a customer for causing harassment to him by delaying the repair of his car. The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has said the consumer had to suffer for quite some time as the company repaired the vehicle only after the litigation reached the apex consumer commission. "It is observed, however, that the Opposite Parties (Maruti Suzuki India Pvt Ltd and its distributor) could have come forward in the very beginning when the consumer complaint was filed and should have taken care of the problem posed by the complainant, rather than indulge in avoidable litigation. "The present case is a vivid example as to how the consumer grievances and disputes could be effectively settled, rather than indulging in needless litigation, based on technicalities alone," the bench headed by presiding member B C Gupta said. The NCDRC upheld the decision of both the district forum and the state consumer commission of Chandigarh asking the car manufacturer and its agency to pay Rs 35,000 to Punjab resident Jaswinder Singh even though the car was repaired to his satisfaction. "It is clear that the complainant (Singh) had to suffer for quite some time, seeking redressal of his genuine grievance. Both the consumer fora below have allowed a sum of Rs 25,000 to him as compensation for mental harassment etc. and Rs 10,000 as cost of litigation.
We do feel that the directions to give compensation in terms of the orders of the consumer fora below are based on sound reasoning and logic," the commission said. According to the complaint, Singh had bought Maruti's A-Star car on 16 June, 2011, which soon started having excessive engine vibration trouble. The complaint said the issue persisted even after the mounting arrangement of the engine was changed. The service engineers tried to repair the vehicle but there was no fruitful result, the complaint said after which Singh moved the district forum seeking compensation. The district forum awarded Rs 25,000 on account of deficiency in service and causing mental and physical harassment and Rs 10,000 as litigation cost. The company and the agency moved the state commission against the order which had denied relief and said that apart from paying the compensation, the company and the agency have to replace the default engine. While the NCDRC was considering the revision petition against the state commission's order, the company repaired the vehicle and it was noted by the apex consuer panel that the customer was fully satisfied with the repair.