Buying a new car is an experience of a lifetime. However, certain experiences can ruin the feeling. Here is a story of a Skoda Slavia owner who received a repainted car and had to go through the ordeal so that Skoda fixes the problem. In the end, the retired Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer received the full refund plus a massive compensation.
The owner Mr Ravindra K Wankhede booked the Skoda Slavia in August and wanted to take delivery on his 60th birthday as per post on T-BHP. The car reached the showroom in September and the family went to the showroom to complete the formalities and do Pre Delivery Inspection (PDI). The delivery date was a few days after the PDI on the owner’s 60th birthday.
On the day of delivery, they completed the formalities but spotted a rough patch on the right rear quarter panel of the Slavia. They asked the dealership officials about the same and got the answer that a bird dropping might have caused the rough patch. The dealership offered to do a 3M polish and coating on the panel of free. However, even after the 3M treatment, the rough patch remained the same.
Checked with DFT meter
After speaking to the head of the dealerships and senior officials’s promise to solve the problem within two days, Mr Wankhede left with the car. They got the car checked with paint garages who used Dry Film Thickness (DFT) meter to check the quality of the paint. The garages and the DFT meter readings confirmed that the panel is repainted. The DFT meter gave a very different reading confirming the same.
When Skoda dealership replied on email saying that it is indeed a bird dropping that caused the rough patch, they sent the DFT readings and confronted the officials. Skoda officials refused to take any onus as the owners tried contacting RTO and ARAI to get a solution to the matter.
After a few days, Skoda dealership emailed the customer agreeing that it was a rough patch. But they continued to say that it happened due to bird dropping on the panel. They offered another repaint job with full 3M polish and treatment on the car. However, the customer refused to take that solution. In the feedback call from Skoda India, they mentioned the problems that they were facing. The dealership officials refused to give any such issue in writing.
The owner, who is an IFS officer mounted pressure on Skoda India through his contacts in Volkswagen India, Volkswagen Germany and even the highest possible reach of the Indian government.
Finally, the Skoda officials accepted that the vehicle was repainted. The owner asked for a full refund of amount and an additional payment of Rs 1.5 lakh for the harassment and torture that they faced or they demanded for a brand-new car with Rs 50,000 as compensation for mental harassment.
Skoda dealership and the owner settled on a solution. Skoda will repay the full amount back to the customer and also pay an extra Rs 1.5 lakh as a compensation for mental harassment. Interestingly, formal complaints were not lodged in this matter.