BENGALURU: When Mrinnal Sahani visited a car showroom on September 23, 2017, it was a green-coloured SUV that caught his fancy. When sales representatives prodded him, claiming it’s in high demand, the Whitefield resident did not think twice. He paid an advance of Rs 5,000 and went home happily.
But some days later, he was shocked to see an orange colour Renault Duster delivered to him by automobilemaker Renault India Private Ltd. Irked by this, the 32-year old approached the consumer court which ordered the company to give him the vehicle of his choice and also Rs 15,000 as compensation.
As his wife was pregnant, Sahani wanted to purchase a vehicle that suits his family’s requirements and replace his old car. When he paid the advance amount, he was assured by the staff that the car would be delivered in a few days and he could pay the rest then. Believing them, he sold his old car. But he was desperately in need of a new vehicle immediately mainly to take his wife for medical check-ups. But when he contacted the showroom, he was told the car was sold out and he was asked to choose another shade.
Though Sahani raised objection, the staff made him choose an orange SUV which was available in the shop. Forced to drive home the vehicle, Sahani decided to teach the company a lesson and moved the Bangalore Urban 2nd Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum on November 16, 2017.
While Sahani fought the case on his own, Renault India Private Ltd. was represented by an attorney who claimed the complaint was misconceived, vexatious and frivolous. He argued that as a company, Renault was not responsible for the actions of its authorised dealer and cited earlier court verdicts to assert that they are not entitled to replace the car or refund the money as there was no manufacturing defect in the model sold to the customer.
After 17 months of litigation, the forum concluded that the complainant deserved a vehicle of his favourite colour as he had paid an advance amount for it. They chided Renault and its dealer for collecting the money and defaulting on their promise to the customer.
On April 26, 2019, the court directed Renault to replace the car with all new packages, including insurance policy, warranty and accessories. In addition, the car maker should pay Sahani Rs 10,000 for mental agony and an additional Rs 5,000 towards his court expenses, all within 60 days.