The Dakshina Kannada District Consumer Disputes Rederessal Forum has directed a two-wheeler manufacturer and its Puttur dealer to pay compensation of Rs. 10,000 to a consumer for failing to rectify certain defects in the vehicle he had purchased .

The forum, led by Asha K. Shetty, asked them to pay litigation costs of Rs. 1,000, besides rectifying the defect.

K. Jayananda, an advocate residing at Neralakatte in Bantwal taluk, purchased a TVS Star City motorcycle on February 20, 2006 from the dealer. The vehicle had a 24-month warranty.

The complainant said that during the sixth service of the vehicle on May 18, 2007 he noticed that the front brake system of the vehicle was not normal.

Whenever the brake was applied, there was a “jerk and noise” from the front wheel. Although it was repaired once,This defect was brought to the notice of the manufacturer and the vehicle was repaired. the problem re-appeared very soon. However, the dealer did not rectify the problem, despite several requests. The consumer approached the forum for redressal.

While the forum observed that the problem had occurred during the warranty period, the dealer contended that there was no manufacturing defect. They claimed that the consumer had not secured expert opinion (on whether the vehicle had any manufacturing defect). The forum said, “The manufacturer cannot escape his responsibility with the contention that the complainant (had) not produced expert opinion. The quality and standard of every good, much less a vehicle, has to be tested strictly on the stern definition of ‘defect' as provided in Section 2 (1) (f) of the (Consumer Protection) Act, which means, ‘any fault, imperfection or shortcoming in the quality, quantity, potency, purity or standard which is required to be maintained by or under any law for the time being in force or under any contract, expressly or implied, or as is claimed by the trader in any manner whatsoever in relation to any goods' .

The forum said the onus was on the manufacturer to prove that there was no manufacturing defect. The manufacturer had failed to produce any expert opinion/report to show that the vehicle was defect-free, the forum said and held the dealer and the manufacturing company jointly and severally liable to rectify the defects by replacing spare parts free of cost and by extending the warranty further.

Keywords: Consumer issues

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