Consumer panel raps Panasonic India for faulty washing machine

Mumbai: Panasonic India Pvt Ltd will have to partially refund the amount a customer paid for its washing machine in 2015, after a District Consumer Commission stated in its order that if the objective with which a customer has bought a product is not fulfilled, then it could be said that the customer has been cheated.

Khursheed Bharda from Andheri had approached the Commission in 2017 and stated in her complaint that the machine had a manufacturing defect due to which threads would come out of the clothes. Soon after the purchase of the product in November 2015, she had started experiencing issues. Many technicians tried to solve the issue, but it did not resolve.

Commission member Shraddha Jalnapurkar said in her order that Panasonic should have made sure that there are no defects in the manufactured product before selling it to the customers and said this is its legal duty. It said further that though there was a two-years warranty for the machine, both the company and the dealer could not solve the issue, which means there are chances of a manufacturing defect in it.

The commission also expressed that Panasonic is a reputed washing machine manufacturing company and had sold a defective product in such a way to the customer, is an aspect that needs to be considered.

It ordered that either the company and/or the dealer fully repair the machine or replace the required part, while providing warranty for it, or refund Rs 10,000 to the customer and pay Rs 5,000 total as compensation and costs. It noted that despite repeated correspondence with both, the problem was not solved. It also stated that selling the customer a defective product and neglecting her complaints amounted to deficient service. When they could not solve the issue, then they were bound to replace the product or replace the faulty part and repair it, it added.

The customer had claimed Rs 1,75,000 as compensation. While declining this demand, the commission said that no evidence has been provided that damage to this extent has been incurred or that the customer had to buy a new machine.

Both Panasonic and Vile Parle-based dealer Zee Electronics had not appeared before the commission despite notice and it had proceeded ex-parte against them.

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