Indian buyers, although hesitant in the beginning, eventually do offer their support to new automakers; however, new automakers can sometimes make mistakes, and the result of this is usually not good. When companies refuse to listen to their customers, they can go to the extreme end by protesting against them, and this is what has happened with the Pune-based electric bike manufacturer Tork Motors. Recently, a number of its customers staged a protest at the company’s headquarters in Pune. The demonstration took place due to grievances related to delays, unmet promises, and technical issues surrounding Tork Motors’ Kratos R model.
Fast Charging Issue
One of the major concerns raised by customers was the absence of the promised fast charging port on their Kratos R bikes. Despite initial assurances of receiving the feature by March 2023, customers have stated that even after more than a year into the purchase, there are no signs of the company providing this said feature. Tork Motors, in response, has attributed the delay to challenges in implementing standardized connectors required by the Government of India Standards. The company claims to provide the upgraded charging port and connector free of cost. However, customers remain frustrated with the ongoing delays and lack of a clear timeline.
Chassis Design Flaws and High Beam Issue
In addition to the fast charger issue, a few Tork Kratos R owners have reported chassis breakages due to a design flaw. The company has acknowledged the issue and stated that modifications have been implemented in newer models to prevent such incidents. However, for existing models experiencing chassis problems, the company stated that it will be providing free replacements.
Customers have also stated their concerns about the high beam performance on their Kratos R bikes. They have stated that the high beams offer very little illumination, causing them problems. The company responded by stating that they have passed the required tests mandated by certifying authorities. But the company added that they will be improving the high beam throw.
Portable Charger and Communication Issues
Apart from the above-mentioned issues, customers have stated that they are also distressed by the unavailability of a portable charger. The owners of the initial Kratos R EV bike stated that the company is offering portable chargers for new models, but those with older bikes face a unique challenge. They highlighted that even if they are willing to pay for the portable charger, compatibility issues have arisen as chargers have a different port. This limitation has confined the customers to a 50km radius around their wall-mounted chargers until the company resolves the connector issue.
Lastly, the protesters stated that the protest was not merely about technical issues but also to address the communication gaps. Customers have also reported false promises, disabled screenshots on the mobile app, and a lack of responsiveness on community pages.
Similar Protests by Ola Electric Scooter Owners
These protests are not isolated with one manufacturer. Ola Electric, which is currently the biggest electric scooter manufacturer in the country, has also seen several such protests over the last year. Recently, back in November of last year, a video from Madhya Pradesh where customers were protesting in front of an Ola showroom and wanted to shut the service center down due to poor service went viral on the internet.
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