A Delhi consumer court asked Maruti to compensate Balbir Singh Rs 50,000 for harassment. Singh’s car was facing the problem of hydrostatic lock – a condition in the car caused by entry of water inside the engine – and Maruti had refused to repair the same under warranty, stating that Singh had driven in a waterlogged area.
The counsel for Maruti Suzuki told the court that the damage in the vehicle was the result of driving the car negligently and that the same could not be covered in the warranty period. In fact, a cost estimate of Rs 80,000 was given to Singh to repair the hydro lock problem.
On its part, the court observed that the manufacturer had not mentioned in its list of terms and conditions that the vehicle should not be driven in waterlogged areas. “In case of sudden excessive rain and consequential waterlogging in the area, the consumer is not expected to leave the vehicle in the middle of the road and to swim in the road. The manufacturer, while manufacturing the product, is under a duty to safeguard the interest of consumer of the vehicle in such conditions and to install safety devices in the vehicle. It is also under a duty to provide free-of-charges repair in such cases. Accordingly, we are of the opinion that the respondent should have repaired the vehicle free of charges,” the court said.
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