In the most recent case of a consumer getting justice against a major automaker, a consumer disputes redressal court asked Škoda Auto Volkswagen India Private Limited to provide an owner of a Volkswagen car with Rs 20,000 for compensation for giving him poor-quality service. The court further ordered the company to also fix his car free of cost.
This case came to light in Bengaluru, Karnataka where a man by the name of Dinesh Kumar PP, a 35-year-old resident of Mylasandra Road, bought a Volkswagen Vento 1.5 Diesel Highline M7 in 2015. He stated that he used his car mostly every day and after a few months into the ownership of the car in October of 2016 there was a call from Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Private Limited.
He revealed that the call was to upgrade the hardware and software in order to comply with emission rules. He stated that he complied with the call and dropped off his Vento at Elite Motors Pvt., in Singasandra, Hosur Main Road, an authorized dealer and repair center for Skoda Auto Volkswagen.
Following this he received the car back from the dealership on October 28, 2016. He then started to notice that the car was not performing optimally and its pickup was reduced significantly. He noted that there was strange and loud noise coming from the engine as well. So to rectify these issues the owner took the car back to the dealer.
Although to his distress it leaded to no fruition and despite numerous visits to the dealership none of the technicians were able to resolve the issue. After getting frustrated by the lack of quality service the owner then turned to Škoda Auto Volkswagen India Private Limited directly for help but his requests were ignored.
So finally after being agitated he filed a formal complaint against the manufacturer and the dealership on December 6, 2016. Although he still did not manage to get any response from both. Following this Kumar then proceeded to file a complaint against the automaker for poor service with the Bangalore 3rd Additional Urban Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in February 2017.
After this the attorneys of the company finally replied and stated that the complaint was false and malicious, and it was made with the objective to harass an internationally renowned auto manufacturer. Kumar presented his argument through his counsel as well. The attorneys said that although Kumar’s automobile had been serviced and mended several times, his assertion that an emission-related software or hardware upgrade had negatively impacted the pickup and generated an audible engine noise was untrue.
On January 20, 2023, the judges of the consumer court finally announced their decision after nearly six years of hearing from both sides. The court order stated that although repeated services at the repair station had failed to fix the customer’s automobile, they also observed that Kumar hadn’t provided sufficient evidence, such as an expert report, to support his claim. The judges continued that however it still not does imply the customer received a decent service at the dealership. They added that there was a service inadequacy from the automaker.
In the end, the court decided that Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Private Limited and its service centre in Bengaluru must make the necessary repairs for free. The opposing parties were also ordered to pay Kumar Rs. 10,000 as compensation for his suffering and inconvenience, as well as an extra Rs. 10,000 to cover his court costs. The money must be paid within 30 days of the order, per the court’s directive, or the opposing parties will be fined further.