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Supreme Court orders Mercedes Benz to pay Rs 36 Lakh to customer for faulty car

‘People do not purchase the high-end luxurious cars to suffer discomfort…,’ says a Bench led by Justice Bela M Trivedi

Supreme Court orders Mercedes Benz to pay Rs 36 Lakh to customer for faulty car

Photo for representational purpose only. Reuters file



Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

New Delhi, July 10

More than 18 years after the airbags of a Mercedes Benz, E-Class - E 240 failed to open during a head-on collision on Mumbai-Nasik Expressway leading to serious injuries to its occupants, the Supreme Court has ordered Mercedes Benz India Pvt Ltd to refund Rs 36 lakh in three months to the buyer company for malfunctioning and defects in the vehicle.

“People do not purchase the high-end luxurious cars to suffer discomfort more particularly when they buy the vehicle keeping utmost faith in the supplier who would make the representations in the brochures or the advertisements projecting and promoting such cars as the finest and safest automobile in the world”, a Bench led by Justice Bela M Trivedi said, upholding the national consumer court’s decision holding Mercedes Benz India Pvt Ltd liable for faults in the vehicle.

Allowing complainant M/s Controls and Switchgear Company Ltd to retain the car in question, the Bench directed appellant Mercedes Benz India Pvt Ltd to refund Rs 36 Lakh to the buyer company by way of compensation within three months from the date of the order, failing which the appellant shall pay interest at the rate of 9% per annum thereon from the date of this order till payment.

“It is needless to say that a trade practice which for the purpose of promoting the sale of any goods by adopting deceptive practice like falsely representing that the goods are of a particular standard, quality, style or model, would amount to “unfair trade practice” within the meaning of Section 2(1)(r) of the said Act,” the top court said.

“Since the National (Consumer Disputes Redressal) Commission has considered in detail the evidence and the material on record adduced by the both the parties, in our opinion the well-considered judgment dated 11th September 2017 passed by the National Commission does not warrant any interference,” it said, upholding the national consumer court’s verdict.

The top court said, “Incomplete disclosure or non-disclosure of the complete details with regard to the functioning of the airbags at the time of promotion of the car, has rightly been considered by the National Commission as the “unfair trade practice” on the part of the appellants…”

Mercedes Benz India Pvt Ltd had contended that the complainant company was not a 'consumer' under Section 2(1)(d) of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019. But the top court said there was nothing on record to support it.

 

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