Maruti directed to pay Rs3 lakh for selling defective WagonR

The country's top consumer commission has directed Maruti Suzuki Ltd to pay Rs3 lakh compensation to a customer for selling a defective car to him 10 years ago.

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) gave the direction modifying earlier orders of the state and district consumer fora of Karnataka, which had directed replacement of the WagonR car with a new one and payment of Rs17,000 as additional compensation.

Giving the directive, a bench headed by Justice K S Chaudhari, observed that the vehicle in question was defective as it had to be taken for repairs several times, noted that the complainant deserves ''handsome compensation'' for his eight-year-long litigation to get his grievance redressed. 

''Since the vehicle was taken to the workshop a number of times and every time some part or the other was changed, it leads to the conclusion that there is significant defect in the vehicle. It becomes crystal clear complainant has undergone a lot of mental harassment and agony, amounting to torture, because of defects in the vehicle. 

"There cannot be a case of bigger mental harassment than to carry the vehicle for repairs to the workshop so many times... The complainant has also been agitating the matters in consumer courts for the last eight years and still has to get the requisite relief. He, therefore, deserves handsome compensation as he has been a victim of circumstances and he has fought a valiant struggle to get his grievance redressed," the bench said.

The commission dismissed the appeals of Maruti Suzuki and its authorised dealer against the orders of the state and district consumer fora.

Maruti Suzuki and its dealer had contended that all the issues with the car were fixed whenever it was brought for repairs.

Maruti Suzuki India Limited, the country's top car maker, sold a total of 104,964 cars, including export of 14,565 units, in September 2013. The company had sold a total of 93,988 units in September 2012.