A Suzuki Baleno modified to make it look like a Mercedes Benz A-Class hatchback was in the news for getting confiscated by the Regional Transport Office (RTO) of Tirur in Malappuram District, Kerala.
Everyone thought the car was seized because it was heavily modified which is illegal as per RTO norms. But there’s the other side of the story.
Someone complained to the RTO about the A-Class-lookalike Baleno that’s been doing the rounds in the northern Kerala. RTO officials swung into action, seizing the car, and issuing a show cause notice to the owner of the car, informing him that the car would be de-registered.
According to authorities the original owner of the car had modified it, replaced the bumper, with a Mercedes Diamond grille, alloy wheels, head and tail lamps and sporty air vents and logo to the point that even Mercedes dealers found it difficult to identify it as an imposture
The owner of the modified Baleno is said to have asked RTO officials two weeks time to return the car to stock condition. The owner has now produced the car, which has been returned to stock condition, to the RTO. He has also submitted the modified parts of the car to the RTO. Currently, the car is in possession of RTO officials, who also plan to levy a fine on the owner for modifying his car without seeking appropriate permission.
It is not the modification of the car that has landed everything into the trouble.
The first owner of the Baleno had sold the car to a friend without changing the registration. The friend who bought the car modified it to look like Merc. It was later sold to a third party who was using the Baleno at the time when it ran into trouble.
It was a fight between the first registered owner and the modified owner which alerted the authorities leading to the confiscation.
After the owner agreed to remove the modification, the authorities have decided not to deregister the car and let him off with a fine.
Image source: indiatimes, team-bhp