In an alleged case of fraud, an Isuzu India dealer in Pune took a payment of over Rs 15 lakh from a customer for a D-Max V-Cross pick-up truck but failed to deliver the vehicle.
When the matter was raised to the company, Isuzu Motors washed its hands of the matter.
Harshvardhan Tapaswi, 37-year-old Pimpri-Chinchwad resident later filed a case against Isuzu Motors India and Viiraaj Isuzu in the District Consumer Forum, Pune and the second hearing in the case is due in January 2018.
In a telephonic conversation with Moneycontrol, Harshvardhan Tapaswi’s younger brother Shrivardhan Tapaswi said, "In July, we had asked for a quotation from the local Isuzu Motors dealer Viiraaj Isuzu for its D-Max V-Cross model. Consequently, in August, we booked the vehicle for purchase from the dealer, which is run by M/s Sai Sakshi Auto World Pvt. Ltd."
A copy of the quotation provided by Viiraaj Isuzu to Harshvardhan Tapaswi. Source: Shrivardhan Tapaswi/Moneycontrol
The vehicle was booked in his elder brother’s name who made the payment in full, Rs 15,29,760 on August 4, the documents with Moneycontrol show. The payment was by virtue of a loan from Axis Bank.
Tapaswi alleges that the dealer convinced him to get the full amount transferred in one go saying it would ensure swift delivery in 2-3 days. The quotation document, however, shows that as per dealer’s policy the tentative delivery of the vehicle happens “within 10 to 12 days from the date of receipt of firm order with full payment.”
A copy of the receipt of the payment towards Viiraaj Isuzu. Source: Shrivardhan Tapaswi/Moneycontrol
Nevertheless, after failing to deliver the vehicle as promised, the GM of Viiraaj Isuzu, Shashank Kukreja replied to a mail from Shrivardhan Tapaswi citing “internal issues” at the showroom and apologised for the delay. The mail seen by Moneycontrol states that Kukreja promised to deliver the vehicle latest by August 25, failing which he said, “we would bear one EMI of the loan…taken for the vehicle.”
The dealer again failed to deliver the vehicle though they paid one EMI for the loan. Subsequent EMIs are still being paid by Tapaswi family.
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Tapaswi, who owns a bike garage, then contacted one of his acquaintances, Vinod Chandwani, (at the time of his communication with Tapaswi said that he was one of the senior officials at Isuzu India) allegedly said that he would intervene and sort out the matter in a week.
Meanwhile, Isuzu Motors withdrew the dealership from Viiraaj Isuzu with effect from September 12, 2017. The company published a public notice in local newspapers in this regard and said that “consequently…Viiraaj Isuzu has no rights or authority to deal with our products and cannot take any bookings and/or carry out any after sales service or any other dealership operation with respect to the Isuzu brand and its product/services.”
A picture of the public notice by Isuzu motors India published on September 16 in The Times of India (Pune Edition). Source: Shrivardhan Tapaswi/Moneycontrol
Point to be noted is that the payment for the vehicle was deposited before the ties between the company and the dealer were snapped.
Seeing no ray of hope, Tapaswi escalated the matter with senior officials of Isuzu Motors India. "Not a single mail was answered initially by the senior officials. We did get an email from Isuzu Care acknowledging the email on September 21, 2017 which looked like an auto-generated mail acknowledging the complaint. I then got hold of the Email-ID of Pravesh Dangi, Regional Manager - West in dealer sales department of Isuzu Motors India, who assured that he would look into the matter," said Shrivardhan Tapaswi.
Tapaswi alleges that for 2-3 months, the conversation between Dangi and him continued but to no avail. Meanwhile, the price of the vehicle increased and Tapaswi was allegedly suggested by Dangi that he buy some other vehicle of the same company. However, Tapaswi refused and asked for the promised vehicle.
Finally, Tapaswi was forced to file a case against both, the dealer and Isuzu Motors with the Additional District Consumer Forum in October. Records obtained by Moneycontrol show that a complaint (case number CC/17/387) is listed for a second hearing with the Additional DCF, Pune on January 23, 2018. The first hearing was held on December 20.
For the first hearing, neither the company nor the dealer was present. Isuzu Motors India, though, later filed its reply in which it termed contents of the complaint as “wholly misconceived” and "false", and said that the complaint is “nothing but a flagrant abuse of the process of law.”
The company brushed aside any notion of liability and said that issues related to booking, delivery, cancellation, servicing and customer relations were independently handled by Viiraaj Isuzu. The company had no role or nexus in the functioning and management of the dealer, the reply in the court added.
Incidentally, in a letter dated August 22, addressed to Viiraaj Isuzu’s director, a copy of which is with Moneycontrol, Isuzu Motors India had enquired about the status of 11 pending bookings including that of Harshvardhan Tapaswi.
The company, through its employee Pravesh Dangi, had raised the matter with the dealer and sought clarity in case of Tapaswi, saying despite a full payment by the customer Viraaj Isuzu had not “transferred any payment against this to order for this customer’s vehicle.”
Warning the dealer that by not servicing the requirements of the mentioned customers it was risking Isuzu Motors’ reputation, the company had sought a full report. “If we do not see positive action on the above by 24 August ’17, IMI (Isuzu Motors India) will be constrained to adopt measures to protect the interests of these prospective customers,” the letter reads.
Isuzu Motors India didn't respond to Moneycontrol's
queries at the time of publishing this report.