Since the first car rolled out on the streets of Mumbai (then Bombay) in 1898, the Automobile Industry of India has come a long way.
Over the last few years, there has been a surge in the number of automobile owners in India. Ever wondered where one goes if there is an issue that crops up with the automobile you purchase?
Going to court is one option. However, it can be a tedious and long drawn process.
To make it easier to address these issues the government has initiated a new mechanism. The government plans to set up an automotive ombudsman to empower millions of automobile owners and new buyers.
A report published in Business Standard suggests that the government is in the process of rolling out a National Automotive Policy and an ombudsman-led redress mechanism is one of the several proposals.
The draft policy seeks to establish an automotive ombudsman to address consumer grievances before adopting a legal recourse.
The proposed ombudsman, according to the draft, might intervene in a variety of issues related to new car sales, service and repair of vehicles and warranties.
As of now, the redressal channel is as follows:
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1st Tier redressal: Complaint should be filed with the Authorised Dealer from where the purchase was made. If this fails, you can take it up directly with the Company’s Regional CRC with a copy to headquarter of the company.
2nd Tier redressal: S.I.A.M (Society for Indian Automobile Manufacturer) is the name of the association of which most of the Indian Automobile Manufacturer are members. You can take up your grievance with this body.
3rd Tier redressal: Unfortunately after the second stage, consumers should directly approach consumer courts.
Therefore having an automobile ombudsman will help in reducing the cases that are filed before the consumer forum.
In a related thread, we covered a story in which for the first time the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that if a vehicle registered and insured in India meets with an accident in another country, the insurance company would be liable to pay the claim.
This order came in the wake of an accident that occurred on 18 June 1995, in Nepal, which led to 54 pilgrims losing their life. The pilgrims were from Kurukshetra and were in Nepal when the accident took place. The driver of the bus lost control, and the bus fell into the Trishuli Nadi, a river in Nepal.
You can read all about that story here.
(Edited By Vinayak Hegde)