With so many things happenings around the world across different sectors, the auto industry in India too had its fair share of ups and downs in 2017. But as much as the auto industry may refuse to admit, the year was a forgettable one for some customers.
This was probably the year in the recent past that witnessed a growing number of discontent customers, with some of them taking to the streets to express their dissatisfaction.
From donkeys pulling a car to staff at a dealership of a popular company abusing a customer, it was all in the news in 2017.
Here we look at some of those stories of 2017 that made headlines for all wrong reasons.
1. When Ludhiana man got his Skoda Octavia pulled by donkeys
It was in March this year when an angry customer of Skoda Octavia in Ludhiana decided to express his frustrations over the inability of the company to rectify problems in his vehicle and got his car pulled by donkeys.
Frustrated and tired of the daily breakdowns of the Octavia and the inability of the company in rectifying the errors, the disgruntled customer attached placards with the car's name on the donkeys as they pulled the vehicle across the city to spread the message.
2. Skoda Bengaluru sold regular Rapid disguised as the Black Edition
It all started here. Suhas Manjunath, a customer from Bengaluru accused a Skoda dealer in the city of selling him a regular Skoda Rapid as the Black Edition of the model. Suhas, who had booked a Skoda Rapid Style Plus 1.6MPI in Candy White BP, which was a Black Package limited edition, through Vinayak Skoda got it delivered a few days later.
However, within days after the delivery, the all-new Rapid Black Edition started showing some shortcomings, beginning with its headlights. Suhas grew suspicious and checked the details of the model on the MySkoda app. Much to his bewilderment, he came to know that he had been cheated as this was not the limited-edition Skoda Rapid.
3. When Royal Enfield's Himalayan was dragged to court
Himalayan adventure bike owner Puneet from Kolar in Karnataka decided to move the consumer court, disappointed over the poor response from the company apropos the multiple defects he had pointed out to them.
Puneet, an engineer, had cited 40 defects on his adventure bike, including gearbox issues, leakage of petrol and oil, and a noisy engine.
The consumer court did rule in his favour even as doubts loomed large on the much-hyped credentials of Himalayan.
4. And for this Baleno RS which went for servicing but came back to the owner after just a wash
This incident was again in Bengaluru. A Baleno RS owner took his car for a scheduled servicing at Maruti Suzuki's service centre in the city with a pre-installed dash cam, doubting sincerity, only to realise later that his car had not been serviced but just washed and returned.
The video of the incident went viral on the internet, forcing the general manager of the service centre, the regional sales manager of Maruti Nexa and the managing director of Mandovi Motors to issue an apology to the owner.
5. When Jeep India dealership staff assaulted their own customer, they got the sack
This is the latest in the series. It was not long ago when a video went viral in which Jeep India's Landmark dealership employees were seen ganging up and thrashing a customer who they later claimed had misbehaved with the female staff.
However, various reports claimed the scuffle between the customer and the staff started after the victim approached them to rectify a problem with his new Jeep Compass SUV. A statement issued thereafter by the dealership claimed the customer used abusive language against the women staff.
However, Jeep stepped in and ordered an inquiry into the incident. Subsequently, Jeep India terminated the services of the employees involved in the incident after finding them culpable.