National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi


J M Malik, Presiding Member and Vinay Kumar, Member


M/s Tata Motors Ltd Petitioner
Versus
Mrs Surjit Kaur & Ors Respondents


Revision Petition No. 3115 of 2011 with Revision Petition No. 3118 of 2011 Decided on 18.10.2012
(Against the order dated 27.05.2011 in First Appeal No. 2822 of 2006 of the Haryana State Consumer Disputes
Redressal Commission, Panchkula)

 

Consumer Protection Act, 1986 Sections 15, 17, 19 and 21 Automobile - Manufacturing defect District Forum directed the Opposite Parties to pay Rs. 85,000 with 10% interest, Rs. 5,000 as compensation and Rs. 1,000 towards costs It was duty of Complainant to get free services fromOpposite Parties Complainant did not get free service done and if some defects were there, the same could have been removed instantaneously No fault can be attributed toOpposite Parties Impugned orders set aside and complaint dismissed. (Paras 3,8,9 and 12)

Important Point


Adherence to the instructions contained in the warranty manual is pre-requisite for admission of case of manufacturing defect.

Order

JMMalik, PresidingMember This order shall decide two revision petitions, one filed by M/s Tata Motors Ltd, Opposite
Party No. 2 and another filed by M/s Metro Motors Pvt Ltd, Opposite Party No.1.

 

 

 2. The case of Mrs Surjit Kaur is that she had purchased a Tata 1613 TURBO from M/s Metro Motors Pvt Ltd, Opposite Party No. 1 on 11.10.2002 for a sum of Rs. 6,33,674. The said vehicle carried warranty for a period of 18 months from the date of its purchase. Some defects developed in the vehicles in question. She took the vehicle to Opposite Party No. 1 on 4.1.2003. The vehicle was repaired and a sum of Rs. 15,000 was charged from the Complainant. Thereafter, on 11.10.2003, the engine of the vehicle became dead/stopped, suddenly, in Arohi District Jalon and the driver of the vehicle took the vehicle to Kewal Motors Pvt Ltd, the authorised dealer of M/s Tata Motors Ltd, Respondent No. 3. The Complainant paid an amount of Rs. 85,000, and Opposite Party No. 3 issued two bills in the sum of Rs. 80,050 and Rs. 2,976, the total being Rs. 83,026. The balance amount was not paid back to the Complainant on the plea that the same would be adjusted in the future bills. The above said defects cropped up when the vehicle in question was within a warranty period of 18 months and it had run 81,901 kms.

3. A complaint was filed before the District Forum, which directed the Opposite Parties 1 to 4 to pay Rs. 85,000 with interest @10% p.a. from 11.10.2003 till realisation, Rs. 5,000 as compensation for harassment and mental anguish and Rs.1,000 towards costs of the proceedings jointly and severally. Being aggrieved, two appeals were preferred by M/s Metro Motors Pvt Ltd and M/s Tata Motors Ltd separately before the State Commission and the appeals were dismissed.


4. We have heard the learned counsel for the parties at length. Learned counsel for the Petitioner vehemently argued that the above said vehicle became defective due to the Complainant's own negligence, inaction and passivity. From the job cards, it transpired that the said vehicle had not availed service at any authorised service station of the Opposite Party No. 2. After running to the extent of 80,000 kms, the said failure was caused due to poor maintenance. As such, warranty repairs were denied.

5. Learned counsel for the Respondent, Mrs Surjit Kaur argued that this plea was raised for the first time before this Commission.

We are unable to subscribe to her view. We have perused the written statement. Preliminary Objection No. 2 in the written statement and para No. 4 on merits run as follows:-
"That para No. 4 of the complaint is wrong and denied, since the vehicle had covered about 81,901 kms at the time of defect reported to the Opposite Party No. 3, which seems to be their own negligence and carelessness and because of mishandling of the vehicle. If there was any manufacturing defect from the day one, it could not have covered even 81,901 kms, as admitted in her complaint. Moreover, the vehicle was attended because of normal wear and tear on 18.10.2003 by M/s Kewal Motors, Kanpur for the parts, which are not covered under the warranty i.e. Engine oil, fuel filter, oil filter, water coolant etc. Hence, she cannot claim this much amount and the matter is of complicated nature which cannot be decided in summary proceedings and must be relegated to the Civil court for proper adjudication of the case."


7. We have perused the terms and conditions of warranty. Clause 5 of the said guarantee is hereby produced as under:
"This warranty shall not apply if the vehicle or the engine or any part thereof is repaired or altered otherwise than in accordance with our standard repair procedure, or by any person other than our sales or service establishment, our authorised dealers or their sub-dealers or service centres, nor shall it apply if, in our opinion which shall be final and binding, the vehicle or the engine or the part thereof has been subjected to misuse, negligence, improper or inadequate maintenance and servicing or accident or loading in excess of the carrying capacity as certified by us, or the services prescribed in Operator's Service Book are not carried out at our sales or service establishments, our authorised
dealers or their sub-dealers or service centres.

8. The argument advanced by learned counsel for the Petitioner that the vehicle in question was subjected to misuse, negligence, improper and inadequate maintenance assumes importance. It was the duty of the Complainant to get free services from the opposite parties. This view also finds force from the judgment of this Commission in the case reference Bhagwan Das Agarwal Vs Tata Engineering & Locomotive Company Ltd & Anr rendered on 13.3.2009 in revision Petition No. 1927 of 2007 wherein it was held:

"Yet it is noticed that since there had been no periodical servicing at regular intervals required. Eventual seizure of engine on 24.09.2003 was a fallout of not adhering to the instructions contained in the warranty manual. Though instructions in the operator's service book provided that the Petitioner had to get regular servicing after initial run of 1,000 kms and, thereafter, every 5,000 kms and repeating it at every 10,000 kms, these instructions too were not followed and it seems that only after some problems were noticed in the engine that the vehicle was brought to the service station. The State Commission in our view rightly concluded that the seizure of engine of said vehicle was due to sheer negligence on part of the Petitioner who was not very much particular to follow instructions
contained in the warranty manual that also necessitated taking the vehicle to the service centre."

9. It is, thus, clear that the Complainant did not get free service done and if some defects were there, the same could have been removed instantaneously. No fault can be attributed to the Opposite Parties.

10. Learned counsel for the Petitioner also submitted that the vehicle was transferred to Deepak Kumar and the present case should have been filed within the jurisdiction of Kanpur.

11. We find no force in this argument. The case was rightly filed at Ambala and even if it is assumed that it was transferred to Deepak Kumar, it leaves no impact upon the facts of this case.

12. In the result, we accept both the revision petitions and set aside the orders passed by the fora below and dismiss the complaint. There shall be no order as to costs.

 

 

 

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