Ford India fined for harassing customer

Car maker Ford India has been directed to pay Rs 75,000 as compensation by a consumer court to a man for the “harassment” caused to him due to frequent breakdown of its vehicle.

The Delhi Consumer Commission has dismissed a petition filed by Tamil Nadu-based Ford India challenging the district forum’s direction to pay the money to Delhi-based N Ranganathan, whose car gave him troubles ranging from problems in central locking system to brake shoe.

“It is the duty of the dealer/manufacturer under the law to provide a defect free vehicle to the purchaser. It becomes clear form the facts that the vehicle was suffering from various defects which were most likely manufacturing defects. None of the opposite parties led any evidence in support of their contention that the defects were due to rash and negligent driving and were result of external impact,” the Commission headed by Justice Barkat Ali Zaidi as President said.

Within a fortnight of buying the car on December 7, 2004, for Rs 4.95 lakh, Ranganathan found that the central locking system of the vehicle got jammed on the middle of the road. He took the vehicle to a Delhi dealer which termed the problem as “mechanical defects”. Next month, besides recurring of the defect in locking system, additional problem in brake shoe arose, which was again rectified by the dealer. In the same month, during his trip from Jaipur to Delhi, the vehicle broke down, forcing the car-owner to approach the Agra dealer who helped him by repairing the car.

On April 13, 2005, according to Ranganathan, the rear side glass of the car broke down due to spurious quality, loose implantation and wrong fixation, for which he had to pay from his own pocket. In the month of May and afterwards, the owner faced recurring problem in suspension forcing him to pay from his own pocket.

Tired by all these problems, Ranganathan approached the District Forum seeking Rs 4.30 lakh claim from car maker and the dealer, besides demanding replacement of the vehicle or refund of amount.

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