‘Service providers cannot shy away from their warranties’


By Adv. Jatin Ramaiya 

Ann Lydia Fernandes, an advocate by profession approached the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Margao, complaining about the deficiency in service, unfair trade practice and defect in vehicle she purchased from Renault India. Fernandes purchased a Renault Duster RXZ 110 PS in September 2013.

Sometime on December 29 r 2016, she reported to the service centre in Goa that an indicator of the vehicle was blinking. Upon inspection, she was informed that the fuel injector of the vehicle failed due to fuel contamination and was told that the part was not available. She was further informed that that once the part is made available, she can bring the vehicle for replacement of the part.

Subsequently she was telephonically informed that the part is available and therefore, she immediately took the vehicle for replacement of fuel injector and after replacement the vehicle was returned back to her. Once again she faced similar problem wherein the same indicator was blinking and upon taking the vehicle to the service centre she was informed that the same fuel injector has a fault and needs to be replaced. She claimed that she was informed by the service adviser that the fuel injector was never replaced but was only cleaned. Fernandes said that, she was misled into believing that part was already changed when the vehicle in the custody of the service center for three days.

In her complaint Fernandes held that act of service centre of not replacing the fuel injector was willful and malicious as they knew that the replacement would be done within warranty period.  In the circumstances, she prayed that the manufacturer and the service centre be directed to pay to her compensation at the rate of Rs 2000 per day for damages, mental distress and deprivation of the use of vehicle, refund of Rs 27,453 towards the defective part with interest thereon and total compensation of Rs three lakh and refund of Rs 2,000 towards the cost of notice.

The Forum admitted her complaint and issued  notice to the service centre and the company. However, both did not file their defence within the time prescribed.

Upon hearing the parties, the Forum, observed that, the behaviour of the opposing parties of not replacing the fuel injector during the period of warranty and replacing it only after its expiry is sufficient indication of their mal-intention of not honouring the warranty.

“The OPs had represented to the complainant on the quality of their product, and undertaken to replace the parts except tyres and battery incase of their failure. The OPs had given an assurance to the complainant of replacing the parts during the warranty period in case of any damage subject to the specified conditions. Warranty is a valid contract between the parties. OPs ought to have honoured the warranty and not shy away from their commitment. Since the replaced part was covered by the warranty, the OPs were obliged to replace the same free of cost,” said the Forum

Considering the material on record the members of the Forum directed the manufacturer and the service station to refund the amount paid by Fernandes for replacement of the fuel injector and further pays costs and compensation totaling Rs 25,000.