Mahindra Responds To Case Over UP Man’s Death

A UP man had alleged the SUV had no airbags

New Delhi:

Responding to an FIR filed against Mahindra group chairman Anand Mahindra and 12 others for the accidental death of a doctor in Uttar Pradesh, the company has ruled out any malfunction in the airbags of the Scorpio SUV he was driving.

On January 14, 2022, Dr Apoorv Mishra was returning from Kanpur to Lucknow. He was at the wheel of the SUV when he met with an accident that killed him. The airbag did not deploy even though Apoorv had fastened his seatbelt.

The doctor’s father Rajesh Mishra, who had gifted him the SUV, alleged that the car did not have airbags. He blamed the carmaker for his son’s death and went to court. Following a court directive, an FIR was filed. It named Anand Mahindra and 12 other company officials as accused. The charges included cheating, criminal conspiracy and causing death by negligence not amounting to culpable homicide.

The reports sparked major outrage as people questioned safety features in a car that costs nearly Rs 20 lakh.

Mahindra has now said that the car did have airbags, but they did not deploy because it was a case of vehicle rollover.

Here is our official statement with reference to an incident involving the Scorpio. We have also issued a Press Statement last night.

— Mahindra Automotive (@Mahindra_Auto) September 27, 2023

“Mahindra & Mahindra would like to clarify with respect to an FIR that was filed on September 23, 2023. The case is over 18 months old, and the said incident happened in January 2022.

It was alleged that the vehicle did not have airbags. We would hence like to categorically reconfirm that the Scorpio S9 variant manufactured in 2020 did have airbags. We have investigated and there was no malfunction of the airbags. It was a rollover case which would not deploy the frontal airbags,” a press statement said.

The group added that its teams had carried out a detailed technical probe in October last year.

“The matter is currently sub judice and we are committed to cooperating with the authorities for any further investigation that is required. We completely empathise with the family and offer our deepest condolences to them in their grief,” the statement added.

Safety features and build quality of cars have emerged as a major talking point over the past few years, prompting the government to tighten safety norms.

Behind the conversations around safety is India’s shocking record of road accidents. India reported as many as 4 lakh road accidents in 2021. A government report released in December 2022 said 1.5 lakh people died in road accidents — this translates to 18 deaths an hour.

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