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The  apex consumer commission directed the Tata Engineering and Locomotive Co Ltd (TELCO) to pay Rs 2.5 lakh to a customer as compensation for selling him a defective car.

The order has been passed by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) while upholding the decision of the Delhi State Consumer Commission which had directed TELCO to pay the compensation.

The NCDRC in its order noted that the car was taken for repairs 36 times between May 1999 to November 2000 and almost “every part of the vehicle had some problem or the other”, the most serious of which pertained to the engine.

The commission also observed that as the appellants — TELCO and its service centre — had replaced the engine after the warranty period was over, the same indicated that whatever defects it had were inherent in its manufacturing and could not be rectified through repairs.

“We note that admittedly during the period of warranty the vehicle had to be taken to the workshop on 36 occasions from May 1999 to November 2000… Almost every part of the vehicle had some problem or the other. The most serious complaint pertained to the engine.

“The very fact that appellants replaced the entire engine indicates that whatever defects it had were inherent in its manufacturing which could not be removed,” the bench presided by Justice Ashok Bhan said.

The bench also observed that “inconvenience” was caused to the complainant, Delhi resident Subhash Ahuja and said that the compensation of Rs 2,50,000 awarded by state commission was reasonable and justified in the present case.

In its appeal against the state commission’s order, TELCO had said that it had replaced the engine, after the warranty period was over, as a gesture of goodwill.

This contention was rejected by the NCDRC which told that, “No car manufacturer would change an engine if it could be rectified through repairs.


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