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NCDRC orders Mahindra to either replace the faulty XUV500 or provide a full refund of INR 13 lakh.

NCDRC took a notice of repeated documented issues and an expert report pointing to manufacturing defects in Mahindra’s faulty XUV500.

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) recently affirmed a State Commission’s decision, instructing Mahindra & Mahindra to either replace a defective XUV500 car or reimburse the buyer ₹13,20,000. [Case: Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd v Manoj Kumar Sharma and Anr.]

Presiding Member Air vice-marshal (Retd.) J Rajendra noted that the decisions of the District and State Commissions were well-founded.

“This was primarily due to consistent and recurrent documented faults during servicing and repairs, as well as the expert report from Shri Prashant Kumar, Proprietor, Tire Wheel Experts and Software Engineer dated 10.07.2016, highlighting serious issues. This established a ‘manufacturing defect’ in the vehicle,” the order dated April 5 stated.

NCDRC upholds order directing Mahindra to replace XUV500 or issue full refund of ₹13 lakh due to manufacturing defects

The Court was hearing an appeal by Mahindra against the order of the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.

The complainant reported that problems with ignition, braking, lights, and the auto central lock began soon after purchasing the car. Despite several repair attempts, these issues persisted, allegedly resulting in an accident and further damage.

The complainant claimed that subsequent repair attempts were unsuccessful. When requesting a replacement, both Mahindra and the dealer did not respond, even after receiving a legal notice. As a result, the complainant approached the District Forum.

In its response, Mahindra stated that the car was sold by the dealer in excellent condition. It also mentioned that free servicing was provided when required, and no defects were found in the car.

The dealership asserted that the car was operating smoothly and was repaired whenever the complainant requested.

The District Forum ruled in favor of the complainant, ordering a refund or replacement of the car.

Following Mahindra’s appeal, the State Commission upheld the District Forum’s decision. This led to Mahindra appealing to the NCDRC.

Mahindra argued that if the car was defective, it would not have traveled 1.19 lakh kilometers (km) within six years of purchase.

Furthermore, Mahindra contended that the challenged orders contradicted Section 13(1)(c) of the Consumer Protection Act, as it was the complainant’s responsibility to prove the claim for total replacement with the support of an automotive expert’s opinion that the vehicle had an inherent manufacturing defect.

Mahindra also argued that the expert report indicating serious issues was based solely on a visual inspection, without using any testing equipment or facilities, and therefore, it was contrary to the prescribed procedure.

The complainant maintained that the expert report highlighted a manufacturing defect, and the defect was substantiated by 25 job cards showing various problems that emerged and needed repair.

The Commission observed that the recurring repairs indicated ongoing issues faced by the complainant. It stated that even though the car had covered a significant distance, the complainant’s consistent issues and repairs were valid concerns.

Consequently, the Commission found that the decisions of the District and State Commissions were well-founded and based on the evidence and arguments presented before them.

In this context, it mentioned that the scope for revision under the Consumer Protection Act was very limited, especially in the presence of concurrent factual findings.

Therefore, the Commission found no grounds for interference and dismissed the appeal.

Mahindra & Mahindra was represented by advocates Anand S Jha and Parvez Rahman.

The complainant was represented by advocates KK Sharma and Payal Rajput.

Click here to read the judgement

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