Our Bureau

Mumbai, March 22

Tata Motors is investigating the latest incident in Mumbai of a new Nano catching fire, less than an hour after it was driven out of the showroom.

Mr Satish Sawant, an insurance agent, picked up the car from Concorde Motors at Prabhadevi. It literally went up in flames barely 45 minutes into the drive.

“This is a unique case. We are trying to figure out what went wrong,” said a spokesperson for Tata Motors. Incidentally, this is the fourth case of a Nano catching fire. The first was reported last September in Ahmedabad and was followed by similar instances in Lucknow and Delhi. All three cars caught fire when they were parked and kept idle.

Tata Motors had said then, that the problem was due to a short circuit in the steering column. The company had the particular vendor, who supplied these faulty switches, replaced. The spokesperson added that the company did not think the latest incident was related to the earlier ones. “We have offered to return the money (to the customer),” he said.

It now remains to be seen if Tata Motors will perform another round of pre-emptive checks of Nanos delivered to buyers in recent months. “With the spate of recalls happening, the company may just think this is the best way forward to keep customer confidence intact,” sources said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 23, 2010)
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