Hyderabad district consumer forum has ordered Maruti Suzuki and its dealer Varun Motors to pay INR 1 lakh to the owner of the Alto 800 as the compensation for a faulty horn.
In his complaint, Mr K Sudharshan Reddy stated that after about six months of purchase, his Maruti Alto 800, which was bought from Varun Motors back in July 2014, had numerous problems. These included damaged lock on the rear right door, a crack on the front windshield, noise from the motor and a malfunctioning horn. He took it to the sales outlet but then was asked to go to an authorised service centre. Unfortunately, the centre made an effort to repair instead of substituting the faulty horn.
The subsequent day, Mr K Sudharshan could still hear a loud noise from the motor and the horn, of course, experienced no improvement. Due to the malfunctioning horn, the owner had no choice but to drive slowly, which was the cause of an unfortunate accident. To make matters worse, more fuel is also consumed by the car because of the low speed. It takes him a long time to travel from residence to workplace and vice versa. Since both the showroom and the authorized service centre could not solve the problem, he finally made a decision to send a complaint to the consumer forum to obtain compensation.
A malfunctioning horn can result in numerous problems.
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Maruti representatives claimed that the earlier complaint from Sudharshan was only about the faulty Maruti Alto 800 horn, not a malfunctioning one, so they decided to repair it, which was the right thing to do. After that, the horn had resumed normal working and was delivered to Sudharshan's garage. In the meanwhile, representatives of Varun Motors argued that their responsibilities were only limited to the warranty period.
Nevertheless, the bench rejected Maruti and Varun Motors’ arguments, stating that the horn is essential for the smooth circulation of vehicles on roads, especially in Hyderabad which is famous for heavy traffic; a malfunctioning horn can result in a serious accident at any time. Finally, Maruti Suzuki and Varun Motors were asked to pay INR 1 lakh to Mr Sudharshan as the compensation.
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