Backing out of such pledges is common, especially in the case of two-wheelers where the bidding amount exceeds Rs 50,000.
A few months back, in November 2020 to be precise, we had come across a story where an Ahmedabad-based transporter had pledged a whopping Rs 34 lakh for a special registration plate for his spanking new Toyota Fortuner. As per the latest reports, the person has now backed out of his pledge.
The exorbitant price was pledged for the number 0007 which contains the digits ‘007’ signifying one of the most loved fictitious spy characters, James Bond. People familiar with the books and movies know that 007 is Bond’s secret service code for British Intelligence Unit- MI6.
No ‘007’ for Fortuner
However, Akshit Patel, the owner of Fortuner, has retained the same number for his second new vehicle and that too by pledging just Rs 25,000. Times of India reports that at least 3% percent of bidders have a change of heart and do not pay the full amount.
Patel, however, denied the claim and said he was not able to pay the pledged amount of Rs 34 lakh online. He further went on to say that he attempted to pay the full amount through an online transaction which is mandatory as per rules but the system did not accept any amount exceeding Rs 4.50 lakh.
On the other hand, RTO officials claimed that anyone can pay any amount either online or through cash at Ahmedabad RTO. Back in November, Patel had reserved the number ‘GJ01 WA 0007’ for his Rs 40-lakh Fortuner. Since he couldn’t make the payment at the first instance, he pledged for the same number for another car. Since there was no bidding, he got it for the base price of Rs 25,000 only.
Usual practice of backing out after bidding
RTO officials admitted that in cases where the bidding amount exceeds Rs 1 lakh, bidders usually have second thoughts after consultation with their friends and family members. In such cases, it is a possibility that someone else close to the bidder will get the number by bidding a lesser amount.
Usually, backing out of pledges is more common in two-wheelers, where the bidding amount exceeds Rs 50,000. Sometimes bidders are in collusion to reserve the number at a higher price only to back out later and bid for it at the base price.
New Fortuner In India
Fortuner bought by Patel was a pre-facelift model. Toyota, earlier this year, launched a facelifted model of the premium seven-seat SUV with updated cosmetics, more features and a slight tweak to its powertrain. Engine options on Fortuner remain the same with a 2.7-litre petrol mill and a 2.8-litre turbo diesel mill.
Output figures for the petrol unit are consistent, however, the oil burner now produces 204 PS of power and up to 500 Nm of peak torque (450 Nm in MT). Transmission options include a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic available on both engines.