Assam’s Transport Department has cancelled the trade license of one of the dealer of Maruti Suzuki India Pvt. Ltd
Poddar Car World has been one of the largest Maruti Suzuki car dealers in the North East. They have multiple dealerships in the region. It has now been revealed that in one of their dealership, they were selling an old car as new. The details came to light when govt officials raided their showroom.
The District Transport Officer (DTO) of Kamrup Metropolitan, Gautam Das, stated that a person had filed complaints against Poddar Car World, an authorized Maruti Suzuki dealer, for cheating customers. The customer had filed complaints both at the DTO’s office and at the Commissionerate of Transport’s office. The complaint stated that the dealer has been selling old vehicles as new ones by repainting them.
Findings of the Investigation
Gautam Das further told PTI that, “As per instructions of Commissioner Adil Khan, a team of Transport Department, comprising vehicle inspectors and other officials, conducted a sudden raid of the Khanapara showroom of Poddar Car World in Guwahati. In the raid, we found lot of anomalies.” During the inspection, officials also found an old vehicle which had been repainted and had been sold as a new one.
Post the inspection, officials from Poddar Car World did accept that the inspected vehicle was in fact an old vehicle which had been sold as a new one. However, Poddar Car World’s officials claimed that the sale of the old vehicle happened by accident. Unsurprisingly, the DTO officials found the claim illogical and have cancelled the trade license and trade certificate of Poddar Car World with immediate effect.
In the meanwhile, the Transport Department has begun a technical probe. Till the time the investigation is completed, Poddar Car World will not be able to retail any vehicle to any customer.
Coincidentally, it seems that the Poddar Car World’s team has been notorious of playing with the system in the past too. Another showroom of the same dealer at Pathsala in Barpeta district of Assam was sealed back in 2015-16 as it was selling vehicles without the required permissions from the authorities.
Sadly, it isn’t the first time that such kind of a malpractice from a dealer’s end has been highlighted. Across the country, multiple dealers have been caught when they have adopted similar practices to make some quick bucks by selling old/damaged cars as new ones after refurbishing them.
OEMs should develop strong internal mechanisms to ensure that such kind of incidents don’t occur at their showrooms, as end of the day, it isn’t just the dealer whose image gets tainted but it is also the OEM which looses credibility in the eyes of potential customers. Till the time of publishing, Maruti Suzuki hadn’t given out any statement regarding the incident.