Court to Ford: Pay customer 29 lakh compensation & give him a brand new Endeavour SUV

Lately, we have been hearing a lot about cases against car manufacturers in consumer court. The latest one comes from Chhattisgarh, where the court has asked Ford India Pvt Ltd. to pay Rs 29 lakh as compensation, along with a brand new Ford Endeavour, to a customer in Chhattisgarh who was sold a car with issues. The owner of the Ford Endeavour had bought the SUV almost 7 years ago and has been facing issues with the vehicle ever since.

Court to Ford: Pay customer 29 lakh compensation & give him a brand new Endeavour SUV
Ford dealership in Raipur

The Ford Endeavour was the flagship SUV from Ford in the Indian market. Justice Gautam Chourdiya, a member of the Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, has now asked the dealer to hand over a new vehicle of the same model, manufactured recently, to the customer. Additionally, they must pay a compensation of Rs 29,13,064, which is the purchase price of the vehicle, along with 6 percent interest for the last 7 years. The court has also instructed them to pay Rs 25,000 to the customer for mental and physical agony, as well as Rs 10,000 as the cost of litigation.

The customer had bought the Ford Endeavour SUV from G K Ford dealership in Raipur. The car came with a 1,00,000 km or 2-year warranty from the factory. It was purchased in 2016, and after one year of ownership, it started experiencing issues. The car broke down multiple times, and at times, it even refused to start. In February 2017, the customer reported that his Ford Endeavour broke down between Kondagoan and Bastar. This was the fourth time such an incident had occurred, and it should be noted that the vehicle was only 3 months old.

Court to Ford: Pay customer 29 lakh compensation & give him a brand new Endeavour SUV
Ford Endeavour

When the car broke down, the customer called the service centre for help. He requested the Ford dealer in Raipur to send a mechanic or offer RSA (Roadside Assistance) to attend to the vehicle. However, the dealer did not respond. Later, a friend or relative of the customer visited the dealership and inquired about the registered complaint. He asked the dealership staff to respond to the email that the customer had sent them. In the email, the customer explained the situation, including the number of times the car had broken down in a short span of time.

As the issues persisted in the vehicle, the customer asked the service centre to recall the car and fix the issues completely. However, the service centre did not provide any reply to the customer. The dealer resisted the complaint and rejected the allegations, even claiming that the customer raising the issue was not a consumer of the company. They stated that there was no relation between both parties (dealership and customer).

The customer took the matter to court, and a commission was appointed to investigate the issue. The vehicle was inspected by a team, and a chief engineer was appointed as the technical expert. The technical expert concluded that the vehicle had manufacturing defects and was irreparable. The commission considered statements from both parties and reached a conclusion that favored the customer.

Now, the question is how the manufacturer will offer a brand new Ford Endeavour to the customer, as Ford has officially left the Indian market. The dealership that sold the car to the customer has also been transformed into a Citroen dealership.