In the most recent case of a big-name manufacturer engaging in unfair practices, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed Porsche India Pvt Ltd and its Gurgaon Centre to pay Rs. 18 lakh as compensation to one of their clients. The company has been asked to pay this sum as it was found that Porsche Center Gurgaon had sold a Porsche Cayenne luxury SUV manufactured in 2013 as a 2014 model to a customer.
Praveen Kumar Mittal claims that Porsche Centre Gurgaon misrepresented the Cayenne’s production year when selling it to him for Rs. 80 lakh. According to Mittal’s complaint, company employees informed him that the automobile was manufactured in 2014 while the model was being finalized. However, Mittal discovered in 2016 that the car’s true production year was 2013 and not 2014, as Porsche Centre Gurgaon had claimed. Mittal further alleged that the company forged all documentation related to the automobile by referencing the incorrect year of manufacture in an unlawful manner and with the goal to defraud.
In order to confirm the authenticity of the papers provided to him, Mittal obtained copies of several documents in 2017, including State Transport Vehicle Particulars, and discovered that the production year for the complainant’s automobile was 2014. The complainant further claimed that the automobile was bought in February 2014. The complainant continued his complaint by alleging that Porsche Centre defrauded him by selling him a car made in 2013 at the price of a car made in 2014, and also that the Centre sent incorrect information to the RTO for registration of the automobile.
However, in reply to the complaint, Porsche of Gurgaon claimed that their employees had informed the complainant that the vehicle was manufactured in 2013, and that he had agreed to buy it for Rs. 80 lakh. The corporation also claimed that they had provided a discount of Rs. 11.90 lakh because the automobile was built in 2013. Porsche, Gurgaon also claimed that they had requested that the complainant get the vehicle registered via them, but that the complainant had informed the authorities that he had contacts in the RTO and would register the vehicle with a 2014 production year on his own.
Following this, both parties submitted documentation to back up their claims. The Commission then observed that one of the sets may have been forged because the documentation provided by the parties mentioned several manufacturing years and various authorized signatures. After investigating, the Commission acknowledged that the document submitted by the complainant was authentic and disregarded the set of documents supplied by the opposition since the complainant had obtained it through a public authority in accordance with the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
The Commission following this determined that Porsche Gurgaon’s actions in passing off a 2013-year-of-manufacture automobile as a 2014-year-of-manufacture constituted an unfair business practice and subjected Porsche to liability for damages to the complaint. Although it was stated that the complainant has been using the car in question since purchase, so his request for providing a new car of the same make or refund of Rs. 80.00 lakhs plus other costs cannot be granted, however he is still entitled to compensation due to OP-2’s subpar service and unfair business practices. The Commission also recommended that the Porsche, Gurgaon case of document forgery be probed by the police and that appropriate action be taken.