Prince Bansal of Chandigarh bought a Mercedes C220 CDI for Rs 37 lakh in 2015, but just after 18 days of the purchase, he had to take the car to a workshop. Over the next three months, he had to take it for repair four more times.
The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed Mercedes Benz India, its dealership Joshi Auto Zone, and Mercedes Ben Authorised Signatory, Dalmier AG, to pay Bansal Rs 2 lakh to Bansal as compensation and Rs 22,000 as cost of litigation. Bansal bought the car from Joshi Auto Zone on September 17, 2015, but as per his complaint, the car started emitting a noise from the front and cabin in October 2015, by when it had logged just 1,424 km. Later, all its shockers were found defective, and had to be replaced. In November, the car’s doors had to be adjusted because of a noise. Moreover, Bansal noticed a cut on the left hand side tyre, which was also replaced. In December, the sunroof of the car was adjusted and the front tyre had to be replaced because of a cut etc.
Bansal emailed Mercedes Benz in December about the various issues he was facing, but according to his complant got no response. The problems continued in March 2016 at 7,961 km, and the workshop had to replace seal frames of all doors and the software of the touch pad was updated. However, the problem of cabin and air cutting noise persisted. Bansal finally submitted a complaint to the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.
Mercedes Benz India in reply submitted that the cars manufactured by it are world class car with a reputation for safety, comfort, quality and engineering precision. Regarding Bansal’s complaint, it said that when the vehicle was reported for unusual noise in the cabin and the cut mark on the front tyre, the same was attended by the dealer by adjusting the sunroof under warranty and replacing the tyre free of cost though it was not covered under warranty, while the complainant had purchased the vehicle and taken delivery after a thorough examination and trial of the car and on being fully satisfied of its conditions.
Joshi Auto Zone in its reply denied that the vehicle started emitting an air cutting noise as alleged, and stated that all doors were adjusted, checked and found to be okay.
During proceedings at the Commission, a team of experts from the Punjab Engineering College was constituted for an inspection in Bansal’s presence, along with officials of Mercedes Benz. The inspection report stated that “during a test drive there was a creaking noise of small intensity emanating from the rear door of the vehicle in question. No other type of sound/noise was observed inside the seating area during test drive.”
The Commission in the judgment released April 1 stated, “…we do not find any justification for replacement of vehicle or reimbursement of the whole cost of the vehicle. On the other hand, we are of the considered view that the complainant has suffered lot of inconvenience and misery due to said noise problem right from the initial days of its purchase. As no purchaser of a new vehicle would ever think that he would be going to garage to get the vehicle repaired so often even if the repairs may be minor.believing it to be world class with reputation for its safety, comfort, quality and engineering precision, however, it was not so…”