Under test conditions is an accepted industry norm, so selectively targeting Nexon seems unfair
In response to Delhi’s government’s decision to remove Nexon EV from its subsidy list, Tata Motors approached Delhi High Court for a resolution. As may be recalled, Delhi govt. had taken the decision based on a complaint filed by a Nexon user. As per the complaint, Nexon never reached the claimed ARAI certified range of 312 km.
A Tata Motors spokesperson said, “The Honourable Delhi High Court has issued notice on our writ and granted interim relief by directing a stay against the delisting of Nexon EV from Delhi Government’s eligible list of vehicles. The Honourable High Court has granted time to the Delhi Government to file counter affidavit in the matter.”
Tata Motors case in Delhi HC
In its plea, Tata Motors stated that Delhi government’s decision is an extreme step and based on a single complaint filed by an unsatisfied and disgruntled consumer. The plea also mentions that actual range of most other vehicles including petrol, diesel and CNG is different from the claimed range. This is because mileage of a vehicle is dependent on multiple factors such as environment, traffic conditions, overall load, use of AC, condition of the vehicle, driver skills, etc.
Tata Motors response seems valid as there are various consumer goods that come with claims based on tests conducted in a controlled environment. In the auto industry, it would be difficult to find a vehicle that can match its claimed mileage in actual road tests. Unless Delhi govt. is planning to pinpoint the shortcomings of generally accepted industry norms, it has little chance to win this case in court.
Facts in favour of Tata Motors
It is to note that the current suspension of subsidy for Nexon EV is a temporary one. The final decision will be taken after the expert committee submits its report to Delhi government. The committee will look into the complaints filed by Nexon users as well as assertions made by Tata Motors. The committee has representatives from Delhi Transport Department, Tata Motors, and Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS).
In its earlier response to Delhi government, Tata Motors had stated that its claimed mileage is certified by ARAI, which is a govt. approved designated body for testing all mass-produced vehicles. As such, the 312 km range is a proven thing under test conditions. The company has also said that Nexon EV easily meets the minimum range requirement of 140 km, which is necessary to be covered under FAME-II subsidy scheme.
It further said that Nexon EV has already been approved, as per the eligibility conditions mentioned in Delhi EV Policy 2020. Tata Motors had pointed out that even the complainant has mentioned 200 km range, which is higher than the minimum requirement of 140 km to qualify for the subsidy. These points helped Tata Motors get a favourable decision in the court.
In response, Delhi government’s assertions seem to ignore all the existing rules and laws and focus solely on the complaints filed by some dissatisfied Nexon users. It’s quite like target fixation as of now. That’s unlikely to have any value in the court of law.