Mishaps during car servicing can be heart-wrenching. Especially when you give the vehicle for servicing and it crashes without any fault or involvement of the customer. Here is one such incident and Jalaj Agarwal, the owner of the ill-fated Kia Sonet reveals what exactly happened to his car, which is less than a year old.
However, when I reached the service centre, the service manager changed his version and told me that a cleaner (who I have been told is not allowed to drive the car) drove the car, and smashed it into a wall within the service centre itself. Please see the attached CCTV footage pic.twitter.com/jOogKhUGVB
— jalaj agarwal (@jalajagarwal222) November 22, 2022
Agarwal gave his car for scheduled service at Rajesh Kia Motors Service Centre, Jaipur, Rajasthan on 17th November 2022. Jalaj was expecting to get his car back post service but he instead got a call saying that his vehicle got involved in a massive crash. The service centre officials told the owner they were out on a post-service test drive and collided with a cow. When the manager of the service centre sent pictures of the damaged vehicle to Agarwal, he found out that the front-end was of the vehicle was completely damaged and mangled.
Story later changed by the manager
When Agarwal reached the service centre, the manager changed his version of the story. He said that the accident happened when a car cleaner drove the vehicle and crashed it into a wall within the service centre.
When the customer asked to view the CCTV footage, after reluctance, they showed the video. In the footage, it is clearly visible that the service centre staff manhandled the vehicle. The service centre has been asking the customer to claim his insurance so that they could repair his car.
In the meantime, the service centre officials have also promised a loaner car in the interim. However, no vehicle has been provided to him till now
The CCTV footage shows the vehicle being driven inside the compound of the service centre at a very high speed in circles. While the actual crash is not visible, we can see that it had hit a wall at a high speed. The car barely missed hitting other cars that were getting serviced in the same compound.
What does the law say?
While all the service centres explicitly mention that they are not liable for such mishappenings, signing such a document with such fine prints does not make the customer liable to pay for such damages. In such cases, an FIR should be registered and the owner should drag the officials to court. However, this route will take a long time and the customer might have to remain without a car during this period.
Kia is yet to officially say anything on the matter. Such incidents can be professionally handled by the manufacturer and the dealership network. As the manufacturer holds a great deal of influence, they can jump in and set it straight.
Not the first such Kia case
This is not the first time Kia cars have been facing such issues. Earlier this year, an owner of a Kia Seltos complained that his vehicle broke down as soon as he took the delivery. The car refused to start at the dealership. Later, when Kia fixed the problem, the vehicle refused to start two more times on the same day.
There is no law to protect consumers from bad products and such problems in India. While there are consumer courts where a customer can complain but there is no law that directs the manufacturer to exchange the lemon vehicle with a new one. Such laws are common in developed countries. According to such laws, any appliance, car, truck or motorcycle that is found to be defective should be replaced immediately, or compensation should be given to the customer.