The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has asked its Director General (Investigations) to probe a consumer's complaint against the car makers, who allegedly abuse their dominant position by making available spare parts only through their authorised dealers, who in turn sell them on high rates.
"This practice by the international car makers does not give the consumer a fair price advantage as he has no choice but to buy the spare parts from authorised dealers. Prima facie it makes a case and the DG has been ordered to probe the matter further," an official told PTI.
The DG has been asked to submit his report on the findings within 45 days. While Hyundai Motors denied having received any communication from the CCI, emails sent to Volkswagen and Honda remained unanswered.
Normally, auto spare parts from Indian car makers are available with any retailer, not necessarily authorised, but the case is not the same with international car makers.
Consumers are stuck after having bought a car from the international car makers, according to the complainant, who filed the case under section 4 of the Competition Act, 2002.
The Commission, which became fully functional in 2009, with the appointment of a chairman and six members, at present has the power to check anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominant position, drawn from Sections 3 and 4 of the Competition Act, 2002.
Beginning June, 2011, the Commission will also have the powers to check high-voltage mergers and acquisitions.