Submitted by Subeditor on Thu, 2016-01-14 10:19 Bengaluru: Even as German auto giant Volkswagen reels under scandal wherein it duped millions of customers over the low emission levels, yet another auto titan has faced a similar embarrassment right here in Karnataka. In a landmark judgment, the Dharwad district consumer court has held Honda Motors guilty of false claims on mileage. The judgment was pronounced on January 7, 2016, on a petition by Chandrashekhar, a resident of Dharwad. The petitioner had sued the Honda Motors over its false claim. Chandrashekhar purchased a Honda Dream Yuga motorcycle manufactured by Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Private Limited, from Nagashanthi enterprises in Hubli on April 2013. At the time of purchase, the dealer assured Chandrashekhar that the bike would give mileage of 74 kilometres per litre of petrol. The vehicle came with a five-year warranty. Trusting the dealer’s claim on mileage, Chandrashekhar bought the bike. But to his shock and surprise, he found that the bike gave no more than 38 to 40km per litre of petrol, against the promised 74km. Chandrashekhar brought the issue to the dealer’s notice immediately. But, the dealer reassured him that the mileage would be less in the beginning, but would improve gradually. Even after running the bike for several hundred kilometres and after free and paid services, Chandrashekhar found no improvement in the bike’s mileage, which continued to hover around 38 to 40km per litre. Whenever Chandrashekhar took the bike for servicing, the mechanics found some part or the other defective would suggest replacing it. They even suggested that the piston be changed. Chandrashekhar was forced to spend a lot of money to buy accessories. Moreover each time he found a problem with the bike, he had to apply for leave in his office and travel to Hubli to get it repaired. Thus he suffered financially, mentally and physically. As mileage did not improve even after several repairs/ services and change of accessories, Chandrashekhar approached the consumer court. After listening to the versions of the petitioner and the dealer, consumer forum commissioned an expert report. The report proved that bike gave mileage less than the promised 74km per litre. Based on the report, the Consumer Forum directed the dealer and the manufacturer to jointly pay the cost of expert’s fee of Rs 3,000 and Rs 5,000 to Chandrashekhar as compensation for harassment and misleading by publishing misinforming advertisement. Consumer Court also directed Honda Motors not to publish any such “mischievous” advertisements.