Mercedes sells used car as new, imposed Rs 2 lakh fine

One of the world’s oldest and leading luxury car manufacturer, Mercedes Benz has been slapped a fine of Rs 2 lakhs for selling a used demo car as new to a customer in Chennai.

According to the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, “Selling of used demo car without the knowledge of the customer amounts to an unfair trade practice within the Consumer Protection (CP) Act.”

Justice R K Batta, NCDRC Bench said, “Any false representation of rebuilt, second-hand, renovated, reconditioned or old goods as new goods, for the purposes of promoting sale thereof, amounts to an unfair trade practice and the victim deserves to be compensated.”

Mr Reddy, Managing Partner, Techno Mukund Constructions, Chennai booked a brand new Mercedes Benz E 250D model from official Mercedes Benz outlet, Tran Cars India, Ltd, Chennai in 1998. Soon after the purchase, Mr Reddy started noticing bubbles on the body of his brand new car. After some time the rear body paint started peeling-off and the music system started malfunctioning.

Later Mr Reddy found out that he had been sold a used demo car which had suffered an accident. He called Pune office of Mercedes Benz and asked for a new car as a replacement. But, as Mercedes Benz had duly repaired the car sold to Mr Reddy, denied a replacement.

The consumer forum denied help as the car was bought under commercial use. Currently the car is owned by Mr Reddy and has been driven for 1.85 lakh kms.

Finally after so many years, Mr Reddy got his revenge in the form of Rs 2 lakh compensation. Under the unfair trade practice act, India’s apex forum ordered German car maker Mercedes to pay Mr Reddy compensation of Rs 2 lakhs.