2 Dec 2022 9:57 AM GMT
A consumer court in Kerala awarded Rs 3.10 lakhs compensation to a car owner who complained that the car was not offering the mileage as advertised.The court found that the actual mileage was 40% less than the promised figure of 32 kilometer per litre.The Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum at Thrissur passed the order in a complaint filed in 2015 by Soudamini PP, who purchased a new Ford...
A consumer court in Kerala awarded Rs 3.10 lakhs compensation to a car owner who complained that the car was not offering the mileage as advertised.The court found that the actual mileage was 40% less than the promised figure of 32 kilometer per litre.
The Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum at Thrissur passed the order in a complaint filed in 2015 by Soudamini PP, who purchased a new Ford Classic Diesel car in 2014 for an amount of Rs.8,94,876. The order is passed against Kairali Ford Private Limited, Thrissur, the dealer of the car, and Ford India Pvt Ltd, the manufacturer.
The complainant relied on the brochures and leaflets issued by the dealer and manufacturer which promised a mileage of 32 kmpl. To examine the complaint, the forum appointed a Ph.D holding Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering of the Government Engineering College as the expert commissioner.
The expert commissioner found that the actual mileage delivered by the car during the running test conducted by him in the presence of all the parties was around 19.6 kmpl.
The opposite parties did not dispute the expert commissioner's findings. Ford India took a plea that the mileage mentioned in the brochure was based on a test conducted by a third party agency named "Auto Car Cross Country Drive". The forum said that once the manufacturer endorses such figures in the brochures issued by it, it cannot shirk away from the liability.
"Every prospective buyer of a car compares the advertisements, brochures, leaflets etc of different vehicles of various manufacturers and features described therein influence his final decision relating to the choice of the vehicle. Once such statement regarding mileage is incorporated in the brochure or the leaflet that they publish, the manufacturer cannot shirk off their responsibility towards the consumer under the shield of the argument that the mileage test is conducted by a third party agency", the forum stated in the order.
The company took another contention that the promised mileage is possible only in "standard conditions" and that the running test was not conducted by the expert commissioner in such conditions. However, the forum noted that the test was conducted in a national highway at a constant speed of 55-60 km/hr.
Noting the huge cap of 40% between the claimed figure and the actual mileage, the Court observed "no stretch of imagination can make a man of reasonable prudence believe the justifications and contentions put forth by the opposite parties to digest the wide gap between the claimed and actual mileage".
It held that the "misleading advertisement highlighting an exaggerated mileage" amounts to an unfair trade practice. The Court awarded Rs 1.50 lakhs to the complainant towards financial loss sustained by her, Rs 1.50 lakhs for mental agony and distress and Rs.10,000 towards legal expenses with an interest of 9% from the date of filing of the complaint till actual payment.
The award was passed by the Consumer Forum comprising President CT Sabu, members Sreeja S and R. Ram Mohan. Advocate A D Benny appeared for the purchaser.
Click here to read/download the order