By 2016, India would be in the top 5 car markets in the automobile industry globally. Due to this, Government is now looking into framing a new policy called ‘auto recall’ in hopes of improving the standards in manufacturing in India. The details were disclosed by a Govt official.
Joint Secretary, Ambuj Sharma, Heavy industries Department, told they were in the process of forming NAB (National Automotive Board), which is already in progress and would be formed in a couple of months or more. This would enable the board to take necessary actions on recall of vehicles.
Ambuj Sharma says they were examining NAB’s prospects and ongoing discussions regarding guidelines and methods to adopt have started. They were also considering the possibilities of penalizing a manufacturer if a recall happens; however, no specific timeframe was given.
Ambuj Sharma says the NAB would have representatives from all nodal ministries and automotive bodies including ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India).
Sharma tells recall policy would need to under MVA (Motor Vehicles Act) as the policy would require opinions from transport related facilities in India.
Another Heavy Industries Department official told the initiatives adopted by Government in the introduction of the new policy was much similar to that one in the United States of America where it entails a manufacturer to publicly announce a defect if confirmed.
The SIAM, however, wasn’t informed of the ongoing development of the policy.
The policy yet to be reinforced by the Government comes in the wake of home grown manufacturers adding safety features in India to their existing bikes or cars due to persistent complaints from consumers, and these actually do not come under the recall policy.
Last November, Tat did try to install more safety features for their Nanos recalling 70,000 cars only if customers wanted the features due to the Nano catching fire. There are 6 incidents reported like this since the launch of the Nano and Tata confirms that these efforts by the company do not come under the recall policy.
Mahindra & Mahindra known for their Scorpio fame entered the bike segment last year in September when they introduced the Mahindra Stallio 110cc. They had to eventually stop its production as some parts needed to be fine tuned including adjustments made to some bikes, which were already on road.
Reportedly, there are plenty of such incidents in India at the moment. Honda recalled its City sedans twice in one year.
India’s biggest car manufacturer, Maruti too did recall its diesel cars to be checked and replaced for a fault in the engine, and the company has done this twice in one and a half years. Analysts feel markets would grow more matured if such a move is made; however, doubted customer acceptance.
A senior analyst says recalls so far have faced both negative and positive impacts. He says the perception of customers on such moves in India would be negative while in global markets it was just the opposite. Customers globally accept such moves by the manufacturers and are happy to know manufacturers keep an eye on products sold some years back.
The expert says the Indian market was changing in that it would give all the rights to a customer to get back to the manufacturer and shoot questions regarding any defect found.