Automobile activist pledges to help 2,000 cheated customers
NEW DELHI: Two years ago when engineer Sanjeev Gupta bought a new silver Honda Amaze, his joy was boundless. But it soon vanished as the machine, which cost him Rs 8 lakh, started giving problems within 15 months of purchase, and the company denied him the ‘promised’ warranty replacement.
Not ready to give up, the Ghaziabad resident turned into an activist to garner support for what he alleges to be a manufacturing defect in the car. To hit out at the car giant, 53-year-old Gupta
posted about his problem on social media. As his effort got noticed, he started getting calls from people facing the same problem in their vehicles. “I have got at least 8,000 calls so far, for suggestions on dealing with the problem,” he says.
Gradually, a total of 2,000 such cases came to the fore. "Now, I will fight for all these customers. I will file a case in the court against the company seeking compensation," he says.
Narrating his story to The Sunday Standard, Gupta said, “In April 2014, I bought the car from Courtesy Honda’s Okhla showroom in Delhi. According to the company policy, the car had a warranty of two years or up to 40,000 km, whichever was earlier, for service and replacement of parts. Within 15 months of purchase, I spotted white smoke coming out of the engine while driving the car one day.”
On July 13, 2015, he took the car to Honda’s workshop in Vaishali for repair, where he was told that the engine had suffered a critical damage. “They told me that water entered the engine through air suction passage by hydrostatic lock,” he says.
Later, denying any ‘warranty’ or ‘replacement’, the customer service representative gave him an estimate of Rs 90,000 for repairs, and also asked him to pay Rs 9,000 in advance as consent to fix the fault.
He was told that parts of the engine were not covered under warranty. “I tried to talk to the management but in vain,” he says.
Besides, his efforts to get compensation from the insurance company, even after taking the zero depreciation cover, remained unfruitful. Gupta said, “The insurance firm told me that it was the company’s defect and they don’t cover it.”
Despite getting timely maintenance done from the authorised dealer, Gupta was left with no other option but to get it repaired by paying Rs 37,749. This led him to initiate a unique campaign against Honda whereby he painted his complaint on his car in black and uploaded its pictures on social media.
When The Sunday Standard contacted Honda Cars India Limited area manager KP Singh, he refused to comment on the issue.