So, let’s start with one fact. I love my car, at least I used to till these chain on incidents.
Mahindra claims that the Thar is the only lifestyle vehicle available in today’s date which is the most capable off-roader one can buy. The brand undertakes multiple initiatives to promote the Thar & it’s off-road capabilities which creates quite some buzz.
But let us clarify, this is not the only story about the Thar. The reality is far from ideal, and probably the worst experience for a car owner. The Mahindra Thar should be easily termed as loot, asking for almost INR 10 lakh on-road in Maharashtra. Seriously Mahindra, what are you offering for 10 lakh rupees? A rusting piece of metal? A steering wheel which is still not perfectly centre aligned for the driver? AC controls which are flimsy and break apart? No spare part availability at workshops? Does this justify the money spent? A 3 lakh rupee sub-standard hatchback has much better parts & service + parts support.
To clarify one more thing – My Thar is washed twice / thrice a week, with a wet cloth. And not completely soaked in water. Full wash is performed at 3M centres. The car has a full covered parking, and in the centre of the podium, o no rain water accumulation either. Also, this is my daily drive, so no issues of standing water on parts to result in rusting.
Here are the chain of events:
- I wanted a front right headlamp & rear left tail lamp. This was unavailable for months. But later, I was informed parts will soon arrive. To my surprise, 99%, these parts which I got were picked up from a dealer display vehicle and were not new parts. So I had to pay full amount for technically second hand parts. I never received a bill with part numbers mentioned for this job. I accepted it at that time because as a frustrated customer, I finally was getting the parts needed. Also, during this job, they scratched my panel next to the headlamp.
- Now to the event which is still ongoing. The Thar is made out of very poor & pathetic piece of metal. Even body shop mechanics accept that the Thar rusts. And it rusts much quicker than other cars. How quick? Well, my Thar is less than 2 years old and you can watch the video below to see the multiple rusting points.
- My Thar is now parked at Salasar Mahindra body shop at Kothari compound Thane. First, in the last week of October 2017, I took my car for inspection at the service centre. Mr. Rane, the top official at the service centre mentioned that the car should be taken to the body shop for rusting issues. There was another Mahindra official present during this inspection. I happily accepted & went to the body shop.
- At the body shop, I was only aware of the rusting on the front windscreen frame. However, the executives there highlighted rusting on doors, rear door, bonnet, side panel, hinges & canopy mounts. Now, how much metal does the Thar have? Very little right? And from that, you can see how many panels have started rusting.
- I was then asked to take the car back, and bring it back once the part arrives. The executives claimed themselves that part availability for the Thar is very poor. Later, I was told after a week that the part would arrive. The first part which arrived from the plant was damaged. So I had to wait longer. On 1st November 2017, the windscreen frame finally arrived. On 3rd November, I dropped the car at Salasar Mahindra, and the windscreen frame was already painted. So I assumed that the work would begin ASAP. However, the frame still remains gathering dust on the stands, and even my Thar is parked to gather dust.
- Till now, the body shop has only performed paint on the scratched part while fitting the headlamp.
- I was committed by Mr. Amit from the body shop, that the rusted panels would be completely repainted for consistency. I was committed that the car would be ready to be delivered on 15th November. This was including buffer period of 2 extra days. Now, that commitment is gone down the drain, and the body shop tells me they will only spot touch up the rusted parts. So I have to make piece with inconsistent paint on the doors inside compared to outside. And on other panels as well.
- Regardless of of the rusting spot, inside or outside, the panel should be painted completely for consistency. But that doesn’t seem to make sense for Mahindra.
So the problem here is:
- Mahindra has no part availability for the Thar
- Mahindra uses poor metal parts all around on the Thar which are rusting
- Mahindra & the service centres are not competent enough to resolve problems
- False claims that the body is out of warranty for rusting. The car is not even 2 years old since delivered
- Commitment of painting the body is false, and only spot touch up being offered
- No update when the car will be ready to be delivered
- Body shop today informs they have problems with the contractor for paint job, so effectively they might have nobody to perform the job on the Thar
All this is the service for a car that costs INR 10 lakhs. And is less than 2 years old.
Mahindra, stop selling the Thar. It will save you time, and even the customers time & hassles. It might be a capable off-roaded, but what is the use if it rusts and falls apart? I really hope & wish some other brand builds something like the Thar. Things could be better then. All that history & legacy. Talking about how rooted the Thar is in the brands history. Pointless!
As a automobile journalist & as a customer, I am very happy that Jeep is finally in India. Mahindra can either learn to step up their game or continue to loose ground in the market and eventually be wiped out for such substandard cars & service.
- People Involved:
- Mr. Rane – Mahindra Salasar Service Centre
- Mr. Patil – Mahindra Salasar CEO
- Mr. Amit – Mahindra Salasar Body shop (Yells at me on the phone, and says I will perform whatever work I feel is right. Claims I am not a customer slave)
- Mr. Vaibhav – Mahindra Salasar Body shop
- Mr. Swapnil – Mahindra Customer Care
- Mr. Dugal – Mahindra Customer Care