HYDERABAD: A city-based woman has taken a car dealer to task for selling a “used” Volkswagen sedan as brand new one and won a battle at the consumer forum which directed the dealer to pay Rs 1.6 lakh to the complainant.
After investing about Rs 11 lakh, her ‘brand new car’ should have ideally helped her easily negotiate the traffic by using cruise control feature _ automatic control of speed without having to press the accelerator pedal. The in-built vipers, when used to wash off the little dust on the windscreen, too did not work. And, the bonnet, that is visible through the windscreen, should have been lustrous.But, all the excitement of having a new car died down for K Satya Sudha, a city resident, who was sold a ‘used’ Volkswagen Vento car as a ‘brand new car’.
Just a day after buying the car from the dealer, Volkswagen Deccan, in Uppal, the key features and basic aspects of the car were found to be non-functional. Soon after identifying the flaws in the car, the 56-year-old took it to the service centre for replacement and repairs. Confirming that the car had a used bonnet, the service centre agreed to replace the bonnet. But, even the new bonnet was not flawless and had bumps and gaps on it.
Even after relentless persuasion and sending the car to workshop for repairs for three times in two months, none of the three issues was resolved. With no option left, Sudha approached the Rangareddy District Consumer Forum for justice.
In defence of her case, she produced a key evidence in the form of an e-mail _ a letter sent by the car manufacturer asking the customer to enjoy extended warranty on the “second anniversary” of purchasing the car. In reality, it should have been the first anniversary as the car was purchased on September 16, 2016. But the letter on extended warranty was sent to Sudha on August 16, 2017. The forum observed, “The opposite parties sold an old vehicle as a new one. That would certainly cause great mental agony to the complainant.”
It directed the dealer to pay a compensation of Rs 1lakh, Rs 50,000 towards repair of the vehicle and Rs 10,000 for the mental agony caused. However, the plea for refund of the entire car purchase amount was not granted by the forum.