Chennai: Parking charge of Rs 11,000, repair estimate charge of Rs 4,500, towing charges of Rs 7,500, and dealers forcing vehicle owners to go in for a new vehicle were some of the complaints voiced by the owners of vehicles affected by the recent floods here.

Venting out their anguish in getting their vehicles repaired and insurance claims honoured, vehicle owners complained that the automobile dealers are cashing on their difficulty while car companies are turning a blind eye.

They were participating in an interactive session on `Flood Impact on Vehicle Owners- Solutions Ahead’ organised by I Love Chennai, a voluntary group here on Monday.

“A dealer quoted a high rate for repairing my friend’s car. My friend decided to get the car repaired elsewhere and the dealer charged a parking fee of Rs 11,000 after reducing from the initial figure of Rs 16,000,” Aparna Ram said.

“The parking fee is not covered under any insurance policy. Further car dealers are also charging around Rs.4,000 for preparing the repair estimate,” complained a participant.

According to another participant, the car dealers were charging anything between Rs 7,000-9,000 as towing charges whereas insurers reimburse only Rs 1,500.

Responding to the complaint, P Srivathsan, regional parts & service manager at Hyundai Motor India Ltd, said parking fee is generally levied when a car owner takes back his car after some days without getting it repaired at the dealer outlet.

“Many auto dealers have taken space on high rent to service the flood of cars affected by the Chennai floods,” he said.

According to Srivathsan, customers can call the toll free number to make a complaint or get clarifications.

As to the cost of repair estimate, he said normally it will be two percent of the insurance value if the insurance company decides to settle the claim on “total loss basis”.

He said a total of 3,586 flood affected cars have been received by Hyundai Motor India’s dealers out of which 850 cars have been serviced and delivered.

Participants also praised the public sector insurance companies like United India Insurance for settling claims based on a matrix. Based on the level of submergence of a car the insurance companies paid policyholders a fixed sum.

According to V Devanathan, head-technical and projects at General Insurance Council of India, around 50,000 claims have been lodged with the insurers.

He said the number of surveyors is around 200 and hence it takes time to complete a motor insurance survey.

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