The Nissan Magnite is currently the most affordable sub-4m SUV in the Indian market, and rivals the likes of Ford EcoSport, Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet, Tata Nexon etc
The Advertising Standards Council Of India (ASCI) had approached Nissan Motor India Pvt. Ltd. for its response in addressing the grievances of the complainant, Mr Kumal Prakash, who claims that the Nissan Magnite was being falsely advertised.
According to Mr Prakash, the claims “Best-in-class Wireless Connectivity to Android Auto & Apple CarPlay”, “Best-in-class Fuel Economy (20 kmpl*)”, “Best-in-class Rear Knee Room (593 mm)” and “Best-in-class LED Headlamps, DRLs & Fog Lamps” are all vague and false claims.
In response, Nissan submitted a point-wise reply to the objections raised in the complaint. Against the “Best-in-class Wireless Connectivity to Android Auto & Apple CarPlay” claim, the Japanese carmaker stated that the Magnite’s current competition offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay only via USB connectivity. However, the Nissan Magnite offers
wireless connectivity to Android Auto & Apple CarPlay in select models. Apart from the Kia Sonet, no other sub-4m SUV is offered with wireless connectivity to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, said Nissan in its defence.
The “Best-in-class Fuel Economy (20 kmpl*)” claim was backed by Nissan, and the carmaker stated that the Magnite’s 20 kmpl fuel economy is certified by ARAI, and is only available on the 1.0-litre turbo-petrol manual trim(s). In reference to the claim, “Best-in-class Rear Knee Room (593 mm)”, the company justified that the claim is made by Nissan for the B-SUV segment in which the Magnite operates, and also provided the details of the competitors.
In response to the claim, “Best-in-class Rear Knee Room (593 mm)”, the advertiser
stated “that the claim is made by Nissan for B SUV segment in which the said model
operates” and mentioned details of competition brands.
Last but not the least, Nissan’s response to the “Best-in-class LED Headlamps, DRLs & Fog Lamps” was that the Magnite gets a B-Projector LED Headlamp, a Separate L
shaped LED Day-time running lamp on the front bumper and LED fog lamps. According to Nissan, the combination of all three LED (Bi-functional Projector Headlamps + DRLs + Fog Lamps) is not present in competitors currently and hence, Magnite is best in the segment.
ASCI Secretariat claimed that the response is inadequate and has requested the advertiser to provide verifiable third party comparative data to show that they were the ‘Best-in-class’ among their competitors. Nissan responded by saying that the comparison was done based on the declarations made by the respective manufacturers/OEMs. The advertiser had taken the data from auto portals like TeamBHP which are independent third parties, for claims whose details were not available on their competitor’s website or their social media platform.
The Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) viewed the print advertisement and the Ad brochure of the Nissan Magnite, and considered the advertiser’s response. The council observed that the advertiser had collated data of their competitors in the market and compared the same with their product. However, an independent third-party validation was not provided in substantiation of the claims.
The CCC also observed that the brochure promoted all the variants of the Nissan
Magnite, and since the advertisement was for all variants, features could differ for all the models in the segment. Based on these observations, the CCC concluded that the claims, “Best-in-class Wireless Connectivity to Android Auto & Apple Car Play”, “Best-in-class Fuel
Economy (20 kmpl*)”, “Best-in-class Rear Knee Room (593 mm)”, and “Best-in-class
LED Headlamps, DRLs & Fog Lamps”, were inadequately substantiated.
According to the council, the claims are misleading by exaggeration. The print advertisement and the Ad – Brochure contravened Chapters 1.1 and 1.4 of the ASCI Code. Hence, ASCI has advised Nissan Motor India Pvt. Ltd. to suitably modify or withdraw the said advertisement by February 11, 2021.