Tiruvannamalai District Commission holds Zoom Car accountable for renting a faulty vehicle and failing to offer timely support.

The Tiruvannamalai District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, with K. Ganesan as President and R. Vijaya as Member, found Zoom Car responsible for service deficiencies. This included renting a defective vehicle to the complainant and showing negligence in providing timely assistance and handling the situation appropriately.

Summary of Facts

The complainant reserved a self-driven Triber MT Petrol through Zoom Car’s website for a trip, making a payment of Rs. 10,749. Upon arrival at Coimbatore International Airport, they discovered damage to the driver-side wheel hub during the exterior checklist, which had not been disclosed by Zoom Car earlier. Despite this, the complainant proceeded to Ooty but encountered a severe issue — the tie rod of the driver-side wheel snapped, rendering the car immovable on the same day. Alleged attempts to obtain immediate roadside assistance from Zoom Car were reportedly unsuccessful. Subsequently, despite the car being under Zoom Car’s care, the complainant faced delays and challenges in closing the booking and securing a refund. Feeling aggrieved, the complainant filed a consumer complaint with the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu (‘District Commission’) against Zoom Car.

Zoom Car responded by asserting that the vehicle was delivered in satisfactory condition and attributed the subsequent mechanical failure to the complainant’s driving. They argued that improper handling by the complainant resulted in unresponsive steering and damage to the wheel. Zoom Car also maintained that they adhered to their refund policy by reimbursing Rs. 11,344 to the complainant’s account. Furthermore, Zoom Car contended that the complainant did not provide sufficient evidence to support claims regarding additional costs incurred for petrol.

Findings of the District Commission

The District Commission found insufficient evidence from Zoom Car to substantiate its claims regarding the complainant’s driving negligence. It determined that Zoom Car did not fulfill its duty of care and service obligations toward the complainant.

The District Commission observed that while attempting to park near a restaurant, the steering wheel suddenly became unresponsive, revealing that the tie rod of the driver-side wheel was completely severed. Despite the complainant’s repeated requests for assistance and a refund, Zoom Car failed to promptly address the issue. Instead, it unilaterally credited Rs. 11,344 to the complainant’s account, purportedly to close the booking, without adequately addressing the complainant’s concerns or providing documentary evidence to justify its actions.

Consequently, the District Commission held Zoom Car accountable for service deficiencies toward the complainant. It concluded that Zoom Car’s failure to offer timely assistance, acknowledge the seriousness of the vehicle malfunction, and its negligent handling of the situation demonstrated a disregard for customer satisfaction and contractual responsibilities.

As a result, the District Commission ordered Zoom Car to compensate the complainant with Rs. 50,000 for service deficiencies and mental anguish experienced, in addition to Rs. 5,000 to cover the complainant’s litigation expenses.

Posted and reproduced in Public Interest by

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