Merc dupes car owner, sends him bill of over Rs 2L; says 'fuel was spurious'
These days, you can detect adulterated fuel by simply "seeing the colour and odour of the fuel." At least Mercedes can!
World famous car manufacturer Mercedes Benz's Kolkata workshop has detected adulterated fuel in a vehicle by just "seeing the colour and odour of the fuel" that apparently led to a major snag in the engine.
As a result of this, owner Sidhartha Roy had to pay a bill of Rs 2.74 lakh. The dealer — Benchmark Interkrafts, Landmark Cars (East) Private Limited told the owner that as the fuel injectors had become inoperative due to spurious fuel, the terms and conditions of warrantee for the spares will not be applicable.
Interestingly, when Roy contacted Dr Dieter Zetsche, chairman of the board of management, Mercedes Benz, Werk Stuttgart, Daimler informed him through email that "You have reported that the diagnosis concerning the fuel quality involved has been carried out through smell tests by the employees of the MB Service Centre. This procedure we also find quite unusual/uncommon." Even Mercedes Benz India, Pune, in a letter confirmed that the dealer "had carried out visual inspection."
The 14-month-old Red and Black premium brand Mercedes C220 CDI developed a problem with the EOBD lamp which continued to glow even after the engine had started. But the vehicle was moving absolutely fine with no hiccups or jerk. When contacted the service centre sent technicians who addressed the issue and resolved the problem. They drove the car for about 5 km and the EOBD light did not glow. But after a few days, the problem resurfaced and the EOBD light started glowing again when the car was being driven. On receiving the complaints, the technicians paid a visit again. They opined that the car needs software upgradation and so it will have to be taken to a workshop at Behala Industrial Estate. The workshop informed the owner that the software upgradation would require some time and after that the car would undergo extensive road tests.
Finally, the workshop informed that because of spurious fuel, the fuel injectors had developed a problem and the diesel tank would have to be cleaned up and the injectors would have to be replaced.
Roy said "when adulterated fuel was detected, the workshop should have informed me. I was kept in the dark and was later forced to pay the bill."
A senior official of a nationalised oil company said "adulterated fuel cannot be detected by physical examination or smelling its odour. The workshop should have contacted the owner if they thought the fuel was spurious and then along with him should have visited the station from where refilling was done and test its density with the help of the density meter. Also, big workshops have their own labs." On inquiry, it was found that the workshop at Behala does not have a laboratory to test the quality of fuel.