Boy, little did I know the problem started now. There were 3 main issues that bothered me.

BHPian rakshith2929 recently shared this with fellow enthusiasts.

Hello Team-BHP, it’s my first thread here and it’s pretty unhappy to be from my Thar accident which was only 1 month old.

The accident occurred on March 28th on the outskirts of Hyderabad in Vikarabad, where my friends and I had just completed an easy to moderate off-road route. It was on our way back home on the highway when the accident occurred. It was a single lane highway and a truck with heavy rocks had just dropped one right in front of me. I couldn’t swerve to the right because there was oncoming traffic, and I couldn’t swerve to the left because there was barren land with trees. At that second, my instinct was to walk over the rock and brake as hard as possible. The rock was large and had shattered my underbody including my AT gearbox. Gear oil and power steering oil leaked everywhere. Immediately after the accident, I immediately stopped the engine and my friends and I started assessing the damage and planning what to do next. The most sensible plan was to call the flatbed, which arrived after 3 hours of the accident, and drag the car to the VVC Motors service center in LB Nagar, Hyderabad.

Boy, little did I know the problem started now. There were three main problems that bothered me:

  • My Thar’s temporary registration had expired so there would be an obvious problem with applying for insurance
  • While I was negotiating insurance from 94,000 to 55,000, I did not know that the dealer had removed the “Engine Coverage” add-on and it was my lack of knowledge that led to negligence.
  • My thar had a modified grille and bumper and we know how insurance companies disapprove of them.

The day after the accident I visited the VVC showroom to speak to the dealer and tell him about the accident and persuaded him to help me with the insurance process as I had no knowledge of it but it was now my responsibility to make sure I get the insurance claim. We received a call from the service center saying the damage was very extensive and severe and the insurance claim would be difficult due to my expired temporary registration and lack of engine coverage.

The next stop was the service center in LB Nagar, where the damage was estimated at Rs. 4 lakhs, including replacing the AT gearbox and transfer case, as well as the exhaust.

Here are some pictures of the underbody damage:

An insurance claim was filed on the same day and my surveyor assigned after 2 days.

The dealership provided me with Liberty Insurance Company insurance, and after speaking with the surveyor after his inspection, I asked him to make sure the insurance claim goes through as the bill was very expensive. After about 10 days the surveyor called me and said the insurance claim had gone through and my transmission would be covered but since I had no engine protection and an expired TR he said there would definitely be deductibles of about 15% the entire bill. After several calls and e-mails to Mahindra about the delay in the service of my Thar, the parts of my Thar were finally ordered through a conference call on April 16, 2021 after a minor miscommunication between the service center and the surveyor regarding the letter of approval that was later resolved. With Maharashtra locked, there was a delay in getting the parts from the Nashik factory, but it arrived on April 30th.

When the service center started work, they had found that the transmission was not fitting properly due to minor damage to the underbody frame, which was then repaired by dents. The gearbox and other parts were eventually repaired by May 6th. The service center then took the car for a test run of about 40 kilometers that day and told me that the car had no problems. I was called for a test drive the next day, which was about 20 kilometers. I was most concerned about the car’s alignment issues as the underbody had minor frame damage, but there didn’t appear to be any. The car was then tested in 4H and 4L and everything was just as good as new.

The service center then picked up the car and explained how lucky I was to have an accident that did not result in the car being written off. The stone damaged the sub-floor three times:

  • The first impact was with the steel skid plate I installed from Bimbra 4×4, which prevented the car frame and radiator from being damaged.
  • The second impact was on the gearbox, which completely shattered it.
  • The third impact was on the exhaust pipe, from which it was deflected and exited to the right of the car. If the stone hadn’t been deflected to the right, it would have damaged the rear differential and axles, resulting in my car being totally lost.

I received the delivery of my Thar from the service center on May 14th, where I was finally given the invoice and my cover. The total bill was Rs. 4.10 lakhs and insurance covered Rs. 3.32 lakhs so I had to pay Rs. 78,000 which is an 81% claim that I received. The 78,000 seems like a lot, but given the situation I found myself in with no engine cover and with an expired TR, it seemed lucky not to pay Rs. 4.1 lakhs complete.

The service center for VVC engines, LB Nagar, was very helpful and always informed me about the car in good time and took care of it themselves. I appreciate their work and they also told me that my Thar was probably the first to have its AT gear replaced in the country.

I’ve driven the car for 100 kilometers now and there haven’t been any problems and the Thar performs as well as new. It was regrettable that my Thar had to spend more time in the service center after delivery than with me, but in the end my Thar was with me in all its glory after a long wait of 45 days.

For all Thar owners, install as much underbody protection as possible, as this damage can create a large hole in your pocket and even permanently irreversibly damage the car.

In a lighter tone, here are some pictures of my Red Rage Diesel-Automatic-Cabrio Thar, a Punk’n’Orange-Metal-Jeep-Wrangler Rubicon (1/2 in the country) and a Napoli Black-Diesel-Automatic-Hardtop Thar that was running in the field before the accident took place.

Here is what BHPian VKumar had to say:

Well that’s serious. I am glad that the vehicle is back to normal and that the occupants did not have any safety risks either.

Each event follows a lesson, and here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Self-Registration: If you have to get it done, it has to be done ASAP
  • You shouldn’t save every penny on insurance. Better cover the larger floor. 15% as paid by OP is still a number big enough!

Nevertheless, I always make sure that the insurance:

Zero Dep: It will save you a lot of trouble

Cashless processing: It is a problem in itself to pay out of your pocket and then receive adequate compensation from the insurer. So I always buy from my dealer, it barely costs $ 1,000 more, and sometimes they even match what is on offer. But claims settlement is a breeze there. In an August 2020 claim, the Reliance appraiser attempted to act complacent. The gas station insurance manager made it clear to him that his actions would also affect the gas station’s relationship with Reliance if they had an impact on the relationship with their customers – claim passed in minutes. When it comes to advertising, having the party by your side with the ability to twist your arms is always important. In the above case, the operating room was simply delivered to the insurer by the gas station – that’s shocking for me too.

RSA: I say this, most importantly, otherwise the amount you will pay for towing will be much higher than the amount you will pay for repairs. If the car is from these manufacturers like Ford, VW, in the budget category or a premium brand; Simply take the RSA from your manufacturer as safety protection – the RSA insurance will not take you longer than 50 km free of charge. The manufacturer’s RSA will tow your car for free regardless of the distance. When we had to haul a Skoda Yeti from Kalpa to Chandigarh, the owner did not have an RSA, the bill was tight in his eye!

Motor protection: I think the insurer pulled a quick one here. The damage to the oil pan, etc. is covered in every insurance, I mean “every” insurance in the event of an underbody hit. The engine guard mainly helps in cases such as damaging the internal parts of the engine.

For more insights and information, see the BHPian comments.