Maharashtra’s apex consumer disputes redressal body has issued notices to Mercedes-Benz India Pvt Ltd and its local dealer for supplying a “defective” luxury car to Congress Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Darda.
Based on a petition filed by Darda, the Nagpur Bench of Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (MSCDRC) issued notices on Friday.
The Bench, comprising Justice B A Shaikh and Jayshree Yengal, has asked the luxury carmaker and its dealer Auto Hanger India Pvt to file their replies before March 25.
In the petition, Darda has alleged the ‘S Class’ car bought by him from the dealer had a manufacturing “defect” and the company did not come clean on vital information pertaining to the airmatic air suspension system used in the vehicle.
He said the suspension system was “unreliable”, and not suitable for Indian road conditions, and it puts in peril the lives of Mercedes-Benz car owners.
The Congress leader claimed the airmatic suspension system of his car once suddenly burst when it was stationary.
“Had it occurred when the vehicle was running at a high speed, one can only imagine the catastrophe that would have befallen on the passengers inside.”
The airmatic air suspension provides advantages in terms of ride comfort and handling safety.
The Congress leader has sought a compensation of Rs 50 lakh from the car maker for the “defective” vehicle, stating it amounted to unfair trade practice, and another Rs 25 lakh for mental trauma he faced due to frequent breakdowns and poor repair and maintenance services offered by the dealer.
“Quite interestingly, the owners’ manual for the car, which has over 550 pages, does not say anything about the maintenance of the airmatic suspension system.
“This clearly explains that Mercedes Benz vehicles were not suitable for Indian roads and yet the company was selling them in the country,” Darda said in the plea filed by his advocate Firdos Mirza before the quasi-judicial body.