Justice (Retd.) Surjit Singh, President (Oral)
1. By this common order, we proceed to dispose of two appeals, filed by two different opposite parties in the same complaint, under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, i.e. Complaint No.171 of 2012, decided by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Mandi, on 03.07.2014.
2. Respondent No.1-Atul Rana (in both the appeals), filed a complaint, under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, against the appellants in both the appeals, seeking a direction to them to replace the vehicle purchased by him from Competent Automobiles Co. Ltd., appellant in F.A. No.277 of 2014, or to refund its price and also seeking compensation and litigation expenses, on the following allegations.
3. Respondent No.1 purchased a car manufactured by Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., appellant in F.A. No. 281 of 2014, from Competent Automobiles Co. Ltd., appellant in F.A. No. 277 of 2014, on 02.05.2012, on payment of price ofRs 5,83,450/-. On 05.06.2012, at a place called Powari near Reckong Peo, where respondent No.1 had gone, the engine of the car seized. Intimation was given to Competent Automobiles Co. Ltd. and Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., who deputed Engineers, and, on inspection, the Engineers declared that the engine of the vehicle had seized due to leakage of oil from engine and filter. The vehicle, according to respondent No.1, was brought to Shimla and a sum ofRs 12,371/- was spent on carriage of the vehicle from Reckong Peo to Shimla. Appellant alleged that another sum of Rs 11,000/- was paid by him as taxi charges for returning back from Reckong Peo. Further, it was alleged that the vehicle, even after repair, had not been giving satisfactory service, as the engine oil had been leaking and brake system of the vehicle was also defective and that after covering every 20-30 kms., it required repair. Appellant alleged that the vehicle suffered from manufacturing defect and, therefore, it required replacement.
4. Complainant was contested by both the appellants, who were impleaded as opposite parties. It was denied that the vehicle suffered from any manufacturing defect. It was stated that defect in the vehicle had been removed, without charging anything and that the amount ofRs 1,114/-, which had been charged, was on account of the value of the oil etc., which had been changed.
5. Learned District Forum, vide impugned order, has allowed the complaint and directed the appellants to replace the vehicle or to refund the price of the vehicle and also to payRs 40,000/- as compensation for mental harassment and agony andRs 4,000/- on account of litigation expenses. Appeals have been filed by both the opposite parties, challenging the direction for replacement of the vehicle or the refund of price of the vehicle and payment of compensation and litigation expenses. They seek reversal of the impugned order and dismissal of the complaint.
6. We have heard learned counsel for the parties and gone through the record.
7. The manufacturer of the vehicle, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., has submitted with the Memo. of Appeal vehicle history which shows that the vehicle had been used after the alleged seizure of the engine and that by 23rd June, 2014, it had covered 30178 Kms. Relying upon this vehicle history, learned counsel for Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. submits that the alleged defect in the vehicle stands removed to the satisfaction of respondent No.1 and he has been using the vehicle regularly without any serious complaint. Learned counsel representing respondent No.1 submits that of course, vehicle has covered a distance of 30178 kms., as is shown in the vehicle history, but the vehicle has not been driven even for a kilometer thereafter, as the engine has again stopped working because of leakage of the engine oil.
8. Learned counsel representing respondent No.1 has drawn our attention to the job carried out on 27.12.2013, recorded in the vehicle history, wherein complaint of engine oil leakage finds mention. The vehicle had covered 22074 kms. on 27.12.2013, when engine oil leakage was complained. Learned counsel for respondent No.1 submits that again the engine is out of order after covering about 8000 kms. and the vehicle is lying unused.
9. The aforesaid vehicle history shows that the vehicle has been put to use by respondent No.1 after the initial seizure of its engine, when it had covered a distance of only about 1000 kms. only. Respondent No.1 has driven the vehicle for about 29000 kms. thereafter, which means the entire vehicle, as such, is not unusable and it is only the defect in the engine, which is occurring time and again. The vehicle history submitted by Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., which is available at pages 65-71, shows that the problem is with the engine only and with no other part of the vehicle and if that is so, learned District Forum ought not to have directed the replacement of the vehicle itself, or the refund of its price, particularly when the vehicle had been driven by respondent No.1 for about 29000 kms., after the defect in the engine was noticed first. In our considered view, it is only the engine of the vehicle, which requires replacement, as the vehicle history shows that there is again leakage of engine oil. Initially also, when the vehicle had covered a distance of about 1000 kms., leakage of engine oil took place resulting in the seizure of engine.
10. In view of the above stated position, we partly allow both the appeals and direct that the appellants shall replace the engine of the vehicle instead of replacing the vehicle itself, within a period of one month from the date of delivery of vehicle by respondent No.1 at the workshop of Competent Automobiles Co. Ltd., appellant in F.A. No.277 of 20
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14, and shall also give fresh warranty in respect of the engine, failing which they will be liable to refund the price of the vehicle, with interest at the rate of 9% per annum, from the date of this order, to the date of payment of the aforesaid amount of money. The order of learned District Forum as regards payment of compensation and litigation expenses remains unchanged. 11. This order be placed on the record of F.A. No. 277 of 2014 and its authenticated copy on the record of F.A. No.281 of 2014. 12. One copy of the order be sent to each of the parties, free of cost, as per Rules. Appeal partly allowed.