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Wednesday, Aug 24, 2005

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Mumbai motor claims now hit spares hurdle

Radhika Menon

Mumbai , August 23

THE repair of cars damaged in the floods has been further delayed by the lack of spare parts. While insurance companies have arrived at settlements with car dealers and surveyors with respect to labour charges, the lack of spare parts could cause a further delay in settlement of claims.

Mr Mahendra Dhruva, National President, Institute of Insurance Surveyors, said the situation has taken a turn for the worse because of the lack of spare parts. The shortage is particularly acute in the case of parts that rarely get damaged-such as electronic parts and the upholstery of a car.

Electronic control units, power steering, auto door locks and winders are some of the parts that are in short supply. These are parts that are either not produced in a massive quantity or are imported.

According to estimates, most dealers have around 400 cars parked at their service stations of which only 10 are being repaired in a day.

Mr Ajit Narain, Managing Director & CEO, IFFCO-Tokio General Insurance Co Ltd, said the availability of spare parts for motor vehicles affected due to the Mumbai floods was an issue. The company says that it has, however, taken some remedial measures to tide over the problem.

Mr Narain said, "We have held discussions with the manufactures with whom we have tie-ups to make spare parts available at the earliest. Additionally, to make the dealers comfortable financially, we have agreed to release on-account payments for the assessed spare parts even before the actual repair work is carried out by them."

Car dealers have been working on the double to procure spare parts as well as manpower from their branches in Gujarat, Pune, Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore. They hope that this will aid them in churning out 20 cars a day instead of 10.

Mr Nitin Dossa, Executive Chairman, Western India Automobile Association, said that road side garages were not receiving any spare parts because most of them go to the car manufacturers service stations.

He added said that there have been complaints from claimants about inaccurate estimates of repairs of parts where for instance a customer has been charged for the repair of a stereo when the car did not possess one.

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