Bhatnagar reports on the plight of car owners of flood-affected
worst ever floods led to a huge number of cars being
damaged due to flooding. Some hopeful owners have lined
up the cars at garages for repairs while others are
planning to put them up for resale once the damages
all this the biggest beneficiaries in the long run are
likely to be automobile companies and car repair garages.
repair garages because of the exponential increase in
the amount of repair work they are receiving in Mumbai
and automobile companies because several car owners
with flood-damaged cars may opt to go in for new cars.
Hyundai Motors, Toyota Kirloskar and Skoda Auto have
even earned the goodwill of their buyers by offering
spares and parts at a 50-per cent discount.
is estimated that over 10,000 vehicles, of which a large
number comprise mid size and luxury cars, have been
waterlogged. Close to 200 Mercedes Benz, 50-55 Toyota
Camrys, and 30-35 Skoda Superbs among others like any
Honda Accords and Honda CRVs have been severely damaged.
of the cars had been submerged for around 24 hours,
resulting in damages to the upholstery and electronics
of the car. Imported luxury cars, for which spares are
not easily available or are available at a premium,
will be the worst off, especially since these cars have
a large amount of electronic gadgetrycomputer
chips, sensors, power windows, power steering, Ac, CD
player, et al.
While it is unlikely that the floods will effect second
hand car prices in the long run, the prices of the cars
caught by the floods may be seriously affected.
to Deepak Raheja, an insurance agent with New India
Insurance, "At the moment it is impossible to assess
the cost of repairing the cars because most cars are
in a ''dead'' condition. The batteries and engine of these
cars are full of water and the engines cannot be ignited.
So assessing the damage will take some time."
to him, garage owners are giving estimates of the cost
of repairs, which may or may not be totally accurate.
a garage owner said while it may be difficult to accurately
assess the damages in flooded cars, it is nevertheless
true that these would suffer from extreme erosion in
value, as the damages may not be completely repairable
and would show in the cars'' performance in the long
are being towed in with engine failures, wet interiors
(carpets, door linings), damaged wiring and electrical
fittings. Repairing engine failures cost between Rs25,000
to Rs40,000 depending on the make while replacing the
interiors or electrical fittings can cost between Rs10,000
and Rs15, 000, again depending on the model.
to Raheja, high-end cars like the Camry, Corolla Skoda
Superb also have computer chips embedded in their dashboard
plus sensors. If these have been damaged, the cars would
not function unless they are replaced. In such cases
the damages may be very high.
to him most garages are advising car owners to wait
for the cars to dry out before getting the damages assessed.
They say while it may be possible to change the upholstery
it is not possible to dry the entire insides of the
seats and the only option is to wait.
Mumbai''s hapless car owners have a lot to be upset about
after the rains. While nearly all of them are angry
at the complete breakdown of civic infrastructure and
amenities, a sizable number is annoyed about being deprived
of their personal transport, which is forcing them to
commute by over-crowded buses and train, something they
had cheerfully given up on acquiring their own vehicles.
companies are meanwhile readying for increased orders
after the rains. They have good reason to smile as car
sales had fallen for two straight months in a row in
June and July, first due to floods in Gujarat and Maharashtra
and then due to a hike in petrol prices last month.