Ahmedabad based Cama Motors has accused Mercedes Benz India of reacting with criminal procedures including fraudulently replacing defective parts. Cama Motors has been a dealer for Mercedes Benz cars for over a decade, but they ended their association with the company around 3 years ago. They now reason for ending their association stating, “We ended our relationship with Mercedes Benz in disgust when Daimler AG refused to call an inquiry into these practices.” Currently, Cama Motors has a Ducati dealership and alongside they run car servicing and car workshops in Ahmedabad.
Back in 2002, on one occasion, Mercedes Benz India told Cama Motors to inform their customers that “they had won a lucky draw” and would get a free inspection. On this pretext, faulty turbochargers were replaced. Furthermore, Cama Motors state, “Even though Mercedes Benz engineers discovered that the clutch assemblies of their cars across the board were remaining stuck to the floor when warmed up but instead of immediately pulling every single car off the road they took eight years to first secretly fit a heat shield (hiding the purpose from dealers) and then developed an insulated bodied clutch which was selectively fitted to “PROBLEM CARS” thereby putting countless lives at risk for years?”
“The factory had forgotten an air inlet cover (which could flood the car with rain water) or if the suspension parts had been fitted left to right and right to left, this bunch of incompetents had to actually ask the dealers nationwide to secretly inspect the cars already delivered to innocent customers. The number of pipeline modifications done to avoid leakages due to rubbing/vibrations, were also carried out in such a fraudulent way. We were told to shut up and do the job with no information or proof of what was going on. These and many more shocking practices were carried out in absolute arrogance and with a view to keep the third rate quality of Mercedes Benz Cars a secret.”
In another shocking incident, Cama Motors claims that two of their customers lives were lost due to faulty airbags which were fitted in Mercedes Benz cars. In 2007 and 2011, airbags of an E Class and S Class respectively, failed to inflate, resulting in death.
Mr Rustom Cama, Executive Director, Cama Motors, has revealed all this and more on his website, TheTruthAboutMercedes. He has also written to Competition Commission of India, German Embassy in India, Govt. Ministries, Min. of Heavy Industries, Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), Road Transport Ministry, Daimler AG, Ministry of surface transport, US Ambassador to India, Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations of India (FADA), SIAM and to Peter Honegg, Head, Mercedes Benz India.
In an interview with MoneyLife, Mr Cama said, “After trapping many reputed dealers like us, over the years the company modified its relationship with dealers. It also included several new clauses and non-disclosures pacts in the agreements. When dealers like Cama Motors became a liability for the company, one by one we (dealers) were harassed and some were even destroyed. Over past few years, 13 dealerships have been closed, mostly with severe abuse of power from Mercedes.”
In an email reply to MoneyLife, Mercedes Benz India has refuted all these claims by Cama Motors. Mercedes Benz India states, “We strongly refute all the allegations leveled against us. We find these comments highly defamatory, vexatious and frivolous in nature and Cama Motors (our estranged dealer) is trying to tarnish our image; as such Mercedes-Benz India will pursue suitable legal course of action. We would also like to mention that a defamatory suit has already been filed against Cama Motors in Ahmedabad for similar defamatory activities carried on by him.”
Rustom Cama says, “The battle between Cama Motors and Daimler AG is not contingent on anybody’s support or help and we will pursue our duty to its end. However the lack of regulation and the sorry state of this country where even the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) Act seemed better than its replacement cannot be handled by us. I am sure that the CCI does not even see itself as the relevant body for the range of issues raised by us and the ministries concerned have the impunity to disregard facts in spite of using the RTI act.”