National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi

J M Malik, Presiding Member and Vinay Kumar, Member

Sukhvinder Singh – Petitioner

Versus

Classic Automobiles & Anr – Respondents

Revision Petition Nos. 3973 and 3974 of 2012                                                                       Decided on 6.11.2012

Consumer Protection Act, 1986 – Sections 15,17,19 and 21 – Automobile – Manufacturing defect – Direction to replace defective vehicle passed by District Forum reversed by State Commission – Service history only reveals that there was overheating which defect was removed – There is no evidence that vehicle became defective again – Report of expert was essential or some other evidence showing manufacturing defect should have been adduced – Mere fact that vehicle was taken to service station for one or two times does not ipso facto prove manufacturing defect – Due to lack of evidence, value of Petitioner’s case evanesces – Revision Petitions Dismissed.                                                                                                    (Paras  6 and 7)

Important Point

Mere fact that vehicle was taken to service station for one or two times does not ipso facto prove manufacturing defect.

Order

J M  Malik, Presiding Member - This order shall decide both the revision petitions filed by Sukhvinder Singh, the car owner.  According to him, there was manufacturing defect in his newly purchased Indigo Dicor car on 12.02.2008 from Classic Automobiles, authorised dealer (OP-1) of Tata Motors Ltd (OP-2). It is alleged that the car has manufacturing defect due to overheating of the car. Since those defects were not removed or the car was not replaced, a complaint was filed before the District Consumer Forum. 

2.The District Consumer Forum directed that Classic Automobiles, the authorised dealer would replace the vehicle of the Complainant by new one of the same price, in consultation with Tata Motors (OP-2) and that Rs. 20,000 as compensation and cost of Rs. 5,000 would be paid by the opposite parties to the Complainant. It further held that both the opposite parties are jointly and severally liable for the said damage.

3.Aggrieved by this order, the opposite parties filed first appeals before the State Commission. The State 

Commission accepted the appeals on the ground that the lower Forum did not consider the service record and placed reliance on oral submissions. The State Commission opined that in such a case, the opinion of an automobile expert was essential. It was also observed that the car having run more than 10,000 kms in 5 months' time, overheating of car engine appears unlikely.

4.We have heard the learned counsel for the Petitioner at the time of admission of this petition. He has invited our attention towards two authorities of this Commission reported in the case of Nachiket P Shirgaonkar Vs Pandit Automotive Ltd & Anr and Kinetic Motor Co. Ltd & Anr Vs Shiv Charan Negi.

5.In order to prove that there was a defect in the car of the Complainant, the Petitioner has invited our attention towards annexure P-4, service history which mentions:

“Complaints (Complaint Code, Complaint Description, Repeat complaint(Y/N), Customer Voice

A1, engine overheating, N, overheating D9, Type wear high, N,

Jobs (Job code, Job Description, Remarks, Billing Type, Subcontracted (Y/N), Status)

203000, thermostat remove & install - renew gasket, THERMOSTATE VALVE ASSY CHANGE, WARRANTY - 3003230 - SHASTRINGR, N, Invoiced

401040, front wheel alignment, check and adjust, P AID – 3003230 - SHASTRINGR, N, Invoiced”.

6.The District Forum has placed reliance only on the affidavit of the Respondent. To our mind, this much evidence is exiguous. The service history only reveals that there was overheating, which defect was removed. The above stated authorities hardly dovetail with the facts of this case. There is no evidence except P-4 that the vehicle became defective again. The above said judgments are not applicable to the present case. The observation made by the State Commission assumes importance. The report of expert was essential or some other evidence showing manufacturing defect should have been adduced. The mere fact that the vehicle was taken to the service station for one or two times does not ipso facto prove the manufacturing defect. Due to lack of evidence, the value of the Petitioner's case evanesces.

7.Both the revision petitions are ill-founded and, therefore, the same are dismissed in limini.

Revision petitions dismissed.

 

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