General Motors India Pvt Ltd has been asked by a consumer forum here to either replace with a new one a defective Opel Astra car, sold to a city-based advocate in 2000, or refund him Rs eight lakh as the cost of the vehicle.
The South West District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum also ordered the car manufacturer and its dealer to shell out Rs 3.67 lakh as compensation to the lawyer who had to take the car to the workshop on more than 20 occasions, since he bought it in 2000, for rectifying the defects in it.
"From the record, it is observed the vehicle in question was repaired by the opposite party 2 (dealer) on more than 20 occasions...According to us, the continuous recurrence of the problems in the vehicle was very serious matter and should not have been taken casually.
"We come to the conclusion that the vehicle in question is having some manufacturing defects due to which it continuously gave problems and lastly stopped working," a bench presided by Narendra Kumar said.
The forum's order came on the complaint filed by advocate Lalit Bhasin who had purchased an Opel Astra Club car in 2000 from the authorised dealer of General Motors.
Bhasin in his plea had said the car had to be taken for repairs within a month of its purchase and till 2008 it gave problems continuously.
Despite taking the car for repairs several times, the defects in it were not rectified completely as assured by the dealer and it stopped working in 2008-09, he had alleged, adding that he was also charged undue money each time the vehicle was taken for repairs.
In its defence, General Motors had contended there was no manufacturing defect in the vehicle.
The forum, however, rejected the contention saying the problems that arose in the vehicle were of unusual nature and can only arise due to some serious manufacturing defect.