Prospective buyers. Beware
I happened to read the review of Aug 27 2006 on the WagonR VXi of sivankuttykm.( http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Maruti_Wagon_R-108109-1.html)I too have been a victim of Maruti Udyog in similar circumstances since 2001.
My WagonR VXi which I purchased in April 2001 and which has not even done 2000km has been lying idle since August 2001 due to several problems with the vehicle.After several unsuccessful attempts to get the problems rectified, I filed a complaint in the Consumer Forum.
The visting Maruti engineer had at that time challenged me to get a replacement by moving legally, since, he said I was trying to fight against one of the biggest industrial giants in India and that I will never succeed.
Though the Maruti and dealer's advocates claimed that all the defects in the car were user induced(including the rust), I finally got a favourable award in 2006 (Replacement of my car or my money refunded including taxes and insurance paid). But the dealer and Maruti Udyog filed appeals and so the issue drags on.As several of you have mentioned, seeking legal remedies is a time consuming affair.
But, just for this reason alone if you do not take up the matter further, you do yourself and other fellow citizens a gross injustice.You are in a way condoning the cheating of a customer by a company when you yield to the pressure of possible legal obstacles and delays and walk away like a beaten dog. Just walk into the corridors of any Consumer Forum and look at the cases posted.
You will find that most cases involving automobiles is against Maruti.I had the oppurtunity to speak to a German engineer who had worked in an auto plant.He told me that inspite of all quality checks every 1+n(n is a decided number) of any particular component would find its way into an assembled car.And in ever 2+n assembled cars there might be more than 2 of such components.In every 3+n cars more than 3 such components can exist.
This happens not because of poor quality checks or carelessness it is just the law of averages.In the first two cases they replace the components under warranty and in the third case they replace the whole car because they don't want to take anymore chances and lose their goodwill.But, in the case of Maruti I think they pack off such cars to the South to dump on the heads of poor 'Madrasees' like me.I had thought that when Suzuki takes over control of Maruti, I would get some relief.But then I recalled that all Japs consider Indians to be an inferior race.
Only our money is valuable to them, nothing else.In that way the Koreans are far better because they too were victims of the Japs during WW2.Look at Hyundai or Samsung, they give superb back up service which only builds up trust in them.The WagonR just occupies space in front of my house.
Every morning while I drink my morning coffee I look at the car and curse Suzuki (the company and its founder) and Maruti Udyog for what they have done to me.I have been doing this for the past 6 years and I pray God Almighty, when He finds the time from attending to more important issues in the Universe, will bring my curses down on all concerned.
Remember, don't fall for that polite greeting at the door or that very helpful sales person who will be with you till you are handed over your car's keys and send off on your way.You will never see that person again in case you have trouble with the car.Take the trouble to inspect the car they are dumping on you.If possible, take a person who knows about cars with you.
Make sure there are no mechanical defects and that nothing is missing.Do not accept assurances that such deficiencies will be taken care of when you deliver the car for its first service.Do not ignore even the small suspected problem or defect.Take a test drive befor you sign any papers.
Other than a blown fuse , burnt out bulb, missing screw or some mis-alignment, which is set right with that artifical air of servitude, dont expect anything if you happen to have your car develop a serious complaint.They will put you through the "Ping Pong Ball" treatment (Dealer to Maruti Udyog and then from Maruti Udyog to Dealer), till your warranty is over or till you get fed up and behave like the typical Indian consumer and decide to suffer the gross injustice done to you and drive around in that lemon of a car.
I am very happy that I have been able to steer at least 25 people away from ever buying any Maruti product.I just showed them my car that is all!!And I still continue to do it.And will do my best to keep doing it as long as I can.So, dear friends, pay heed to us the few who present to you the true picture of companies like Maruti.Because we are the victims and do not wish any more of you to join us.
I really wish Mouth Shut would add a set of red ratings so that victims like me could select "Not Recommended"Update Dec 21 2010: Here is a very informative site for Indian Consumers.
It is called "Computerization and Computer Networking of Consumer Forums in Country( Confonet)". The url is : confonet.nic.in/Type in maruti, or maruti udyog or maruti suzuki in the search bar and select 'All'. It will make very interesting reading before you buy a Maruti product.The Judgement order has come in my favour again