Consumer court cases and their judgments in favor of the customer have become common news lately. The latest report now comes from Kerala’s Malappuram district where the consumer court has asked India’s largest car manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki, to refund the price of a car to the customer as its airbags didn’t deploy at the time of an accident.
As per the reports, the accident happened three years ago and the customer Mohammed Musliar is a native of Indianoor region in Malappuram. As per the customer, he met with an accident on June 30, 2021. The customer who was in the car suffered serious injuries as the vehicle was seriously damaged in the crash. After the accident, the customer approached the consumer court claiming that it was the manufacturer’s fault that the airbags in his car didn’t deploy at the time of the crash. It was because of the unopened airbags that he suffered serious injuries. The Motor Vehicle Department officer also reported that the airbags in the car didn’t deploy at the time of the crash.
Malappuram District Consumer Commission after analyzing the evidence put forward by the customer has now ordered Maruti Suzuki to refund Rs 4,35,854, which is the price of the vehicle, and Rs 20,000 as the cost of litigation to the customer. If the manufacturer and the dealership fail to implement this order within a month’s time, a 9 percent interest rate is applicable on this amount.
The report doesn’t mention whether the customer approached the dealership or the manufacturer before taking things to the court. This is not the first time; we have come across a case like this. In the past, there were several cases where car brands or dealerships have sold cars with defects to customers, and suffering customers have approached the court for a solution. In this case, the report doesn’t mention anything about the model that the customer had bought also how the accident happened.
We have also come across several accident videos and incidents where expensive cars like Toyota Fortuner were involved in a crash and the airbags failed to deploy. When it comes to airbags, they are programmed to function in certain situations. This is done to ensure the safety of the occupants in case of accidents. There can be several reasons including not wearing a seat belt as a reason why the airbags did not open. It looks like in the Malappuram case Mohammed Musliar was wearing a seat belt as it was not mentioned otherwise anywhere in the report.
The airbag in most modern vehicles is triggered with the help of sensors and other components. If any one of these components stops working or fails to record the crash, the vehicle may not detect the crash and the airbag won’t open. Other than this, the installation of aftermarket accessories like bull bars, metal bumpers that are installed by owners to prevent their vehicle from minor scratches often hinders the functioning of airbags. These accessories often affect the timing of the airbag deployment and thus cause injury to the occupant in case of a crash.