Introduce "lemon law" in India for new cars

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In September 2013, I bought a new car and since the day I took delivery of the vehicle, it has broken down seven times and has been to the workshop over 75 times. During the first month itself at least 25 issues were reported some of them continue to haunt me even today. Over a period of 36 months the vehicle has been at the workshop for over 150 days. The vehicle is prone to regular issues on an on-going basis either with repeat or new problems coming up. So far repairs under warranty to the tune of Rs 2.50 lacs have been undertaken and there is hardly any part of the vehicle that has not witnessed any defect or failure.

Within the first three months itself, I realized that this car is a "lemon" and I made repeated requests to the management of the company to replace my vehicle. However, the company refused to oblige stating that they do not have the policy to replace the vehicle and that they will abide by the terms of warranty irrespective of how many times the vehicle needs repairs. 

Friends, the vehicle continues to give me problems on an on-going basis and as such the vehicle's performance is quite unpredictable and unreliable. As a result, I have already suffered and continue to suffer a great deal of personal hardship and emotional distress; not to mention the fact that I have also been deprived of a great ownership experience and uninterrupted enjoyment of the vehicle.

I have had enough and as a mark of protest, I have now returned the car to the manufacturer's workshop and refused to take delivery of the defective vehicle, which they should have replaced much earlier. 

I am sure that I am not alone. Like mine, a number of new cars are ‘lemons’ -- that have repeated, unfixable problems. Some countries have enacted some type of "lemon law" to help consumers who get stuck with these defective cars (known as "lemons")

According to the “lemon law” in order to qualify a car as "lemon", well laid down criteria is defined that include (1) X number of defects covered by the warranty that occurred within a certain period of time or number of kilometers after a consumer bought the car, and (2) defects not been successfully fixed after a reasonable number of repair attempts. Further, the law should prohibit the manufacturer from adopting a policy that does not allow a refund or replacement of the vehicle in case where the car meet the "lemon-law" criteria. 

If the car meets the "lemon law" requirements, the consumer should be entitled to obtain a refund or replacement car from the manufacturer even without approaching the consumer court. This law if introduced, would not not only make the manufacturers accountable but also avoid a very cumbersome and lengthy legal process and costs. Further, a legal process only adds to the misery of a genuinely aggrieved consumer.

Irrespective of the outcome in my case, I am hoping that a "lemon law" is introduced in India not only for cars but also to cover all types of consumer goods such as air-conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, televisions etc. 

Sign my petition and ask the Minister for Law and Justice in India, Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad, to introduce a "lemon law" in India that is at par with the best practices followed in other countries that protects the consumer’s interests. 

Thank you for your support.

Dipesh Mody

 



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