Auto recall policy by year-end

Roudra Bhattacharya New Delhi | Updated on November 22, 2017


SIAM bid to pre-empt move with 'voluntary guidelines' in June

By the end of this year, automakers may be mandated to officially announce vehicle recalls, if defects are detected after launch.

The Ministry of Heavy Industries expects to begin formal talks on regulations for the same next month with the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) and industry body, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

“Till now, there have been informal discussions between SIAM and MoRTH. From next month, the Department of Heavy Industries expects to take a lead on formal talks for such a policy,” a senior bureaucrat told Business Line.

Such a policy would look to define what a recall means by stipulating the conditions and the process the manufacturer needs to follow after issues are detected in a certain production batch.

Manufacturers may be mandated to inform the Government of any such move, apart from issuing an official statement in the media.


Incidentally, SIAM plans to pre-empt the Government's move by issuing its own set of ‘voluntary guidelines' for vehicle recalls next month itself. A draft proposal is already ready, an official said.

Most developed markets have defined rules for recall. In the US, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration can force a manufacturer to recall a model (or a certain batch), if safety standards are proved to have not been met after an investigation by the agency.

For environmental issues, the Environmental Protection Agency conducts a similar check.

An auto recall policy was also expected to be included in the amendment of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, which is currently in the works.

However, the Sundar Committee Review of last year had abstained from suggesting any official policy. Instead, it had recommended “punishment for offences relating to manufacturing of faulty vehicles” through imprisonment of up to three months and/or a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh.


In April last year, Maruti Suzuki recalled 13,157 Swift, Ritz diesel models to inspect, fix engine defects, preceded by Honda Siel's February 2011 recall of 57,853 units of the City.

In September last year, Honda again recalled 72,115 units of the City to replace defective power window switches.

Toyota Kirloskar had also announced recall of 41,000 units of its Etios and Liva models to replace a faulty inlet pipe to the fuel tank.

Meanwhile, Tata Motors' had offered a free fix on 70,000 plus units of the Nano compact in November 2010, following incidents of fire. However, it abstained from calling it a ‘recall'.

The largest-ever recall in India probably was for the one lakh plus units of the A-Star in February 2010, the only competition coming again from Tata which asked 1.40 lakh Nano owners last year to bring back their cars for a change of the starter motor.


Published on May 18, 2012

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