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Old 22nd May 2012, 17:56   #1
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Thumbs up Soon, India to have a "Recall" Policy

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Ministry to decide on auto recall policy by year end

Ministry to decide on auto recall policy by year end. 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), according to a report in The Business Line.

It was mentioned in the report that a senior official stated “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.” 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.

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.
Ministry to decide on auto recall policy by year end | WheelsUnplugged
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Old 22nd May 2012, 18:04   #2
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Default re: Soon, India to have a "Recall" Policy

Who decides the recalls? Automakers? In that case, I'd see very few companies coming out in the open to make public recalls. In India, the mentality of the common man is to not appreciate the recalls in view of safety, but target the auto maker as "third rate" or cheap. No auto maker would want to hit themselves with a hammer in a country like ours where buying decisions are made not by the actual owner / driver, but a community of friends and relatives who ultimately say "oh..why did you buy this car.. didn't they make defective components last year ... even this car will have a defect" attitude.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 18:57   #3
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Default re: Soon, India to have a "Recall" Policy

If the NETA+BABU combine does not mess this up as they most likely will, this is indeed a most welcome development and something which should have happened long back.

Something tells me , maybe I am a bloody cynic, that the mandarins will extract a very profitable deal for themselves and the netas from SIAM. Let us see what happens. If ONLY we had a culture of activist interventionism in the Indian citizenry this is fit case for taking to the MPs' on the consultative panels of MoHI and MoRH and broadening the section of the lawmakers focusing on the issue.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 19:10   #4
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Default re: Soon, India to have a "Recall" Policy

I think it's in the interest of autombile consumers in India to have this policy implemented. I believe our market has come a long way from what it was say 10 years ago with buyers being more informed (also thanks to sites such as Team-BHP, several indian auto magazines, etc) and more mature so recalls should not blindly be attributed to bad quality leading to loss of condidence on the brand/company. On the contrary it should be viewed as a positive action for the brand/company to be able to take responsibility for the fault and the necessary corrective action.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 19:35   #5
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Default re: Soon, India to have a "Recall" Policy

Our country needs not only the Recall policy but also a governing authority like NHSTA in US to enforce the policy.

We also need to change our mindset regarding the recalls, whenever a car maker is recalling their cars they are admitting their mistakes and are making effort to correct it but in our country newspapers and media publish recalls as masala news . How many of the manufacturers here are actually brave enough to recall their defective cars?

Some Examples-
  • Just because we have non existent consumer laws we get just the standard warranty on DSG gearbox in VW/Skoda/Audi, just because of NHSTA and stronger consumer laws in US, VW offers the same gearbox a 10 year warranty.
  • Other case, owners of Superb 1.8 TSI with DSG 7(DQ200) continue to struggle with multiple failures every year, still no official recall, some cars are replaced and some get refunds but most other continue to suffer. On the other side, VW China under pressure from some government authority admitted in March '12 that this same DSG 7(DQ200) 'box has some issues and they are working on it.
  • Initial batch of Fiat Punto Multijet(including mine) had a known fault. The plastic Clutch slave cylinder was known to fail, so Fiat instead of a full fledged recall adopted a safer way of replacing the part whenever the cars came for servicing, some dealers did do this and others either did not know this or conveniently ignored it. Result: Hundreds of cars including mine were stranded on roads.
  • Similarly early Mahindra Scorpio Mhawk had a similar clutch issue. People at Mahindra and dealers knew all about it. There was no official recall, people were stranded on roads including the Mhawk we owned.
  • There are countless discussions on the forum on why to avoid initial batch Tata and Mahindra vehicles, just because they use customers as guinea pigs to sort out initial niggles

This list can go on forever...

More on NHSTA: http://www.nhtsa.gov/

Last edited by .anshuman : 22nd May 2012 at 21:44. Reason: Replaced a word
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Old 22nd May 2012, 23:53   #6
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Default re: Soon, India to have a "Recall" Policy

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Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
We also need to change our mindset regarding the recalls, whenever a car maker is recalling their cars they are admitting their mistakes and are making effort to correct it but in our country newspapers and media publish recalls as masala news . How many of the manufacturers here are actually brave enough to recall their defective cars?
+1 to that
Not only the media but we as consumers need to change our mindset as well. A recall doesnt mean that the company or its products are bad. Take for example the nano fire incidents that happened the media just escalated it to an other level which intern effected it's sales for a period of 6-8 months. Tata then came up with a solution but the positive news never made it to the papers or tv.

Last edited by Y@SH : 23rd May 2012 at 00:00.
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Old 23rd May 2012, 00:46   #7
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Default re: Soon, India to have a "Recall" Policy

As personal vehicles make grester inroads into the common man's life, car manufacturers will try and push products which might not have been adequately tested or which have admitted flaws in them in the long run. in such a scenario, it is imperative that a measure such as this comes into place.
While the point about a regulatory authority is a valid one, many regulatories in this country have proven themselves short of the desired standards. In such a scenario, it is ultimately the consumer who has to stand up and make his voice heard so as to force the manufacturers as well as the legislators to wake up and take notice. In this regard,I feel that a forum such as this can have an important role to play.
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Old 23rd May 2012, 05:21   #8
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Default re: Soon, India to have a "Recall" Policy

Glad to see some movement and discussion in this area.

In the current form the SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers) is working on policy which is voluntary in nature where a Manufacturer can do so if they find some defect.

This policy would not force the Manufacturer to do a product recall. What we really need is a formal policy under which some sort of administrative body can force a manufacturer for a recall, if they have found and proved to have not met certain standards after an investigation by the body.
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Old 23rd May 2012, 07:36   #9
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Default re: Soon, India to have a "Recall" Policy

Implementation need to be seen, nevertheless this is indeed a positive move.

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Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
Our country needs not only the Recall policy but also a governing authority like NHSTA in US to enforce the policy.


This list can go on forever...
Excellent post Anshuman! Stringent safety regulations and consumer protection on mechanical failures are indeed basic requirements. At this point all we see as govt. certified (on auto websites) is the ARAI certificate for fuel efficiency!!
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Old 23rd May 2012, 08:54   #10
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Default re: Soon, India to have a "Recall" Policy

A welcome move but IMO what we need along with this is consumer protection from defects/issues which are not fixed by dealerships even after countless visits and lemons being passed on to unsuspecting customers. Even in this forum there are countless examples of replacement refusals from dealer/OEMs in monetary or other forms.
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Old 23rd May 2012, 12:24   #11
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Default re: Soon, India to have a "Recall" Policy

A proper legislation will provide a stepping stone for hapless users stranded with such lemons!
Recal may be the final step, but we seriously need stronger implementation of warranties and also insurance coverages as that area too is a bit fuzzy as of now.
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Old 25th May 2012, 13:30   #12
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Default re: Soon, India to have a "Recall" Policy

Finally something in the right direction to make the manufacturers more responsible towards the Indian customer. Hopefully the era of "fixing" issues as an afterthought will come to an end. I also hope the "Lemon Law" also finds its way in some way or format in India
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Old 26th June 2012, 11:39   #13
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Thumbs up re: Soon, India to have a "Recall" Policy

Now it seems that the Top automobile companies themselves are planning to set up a recall code. It seems it is a voluntary move by the companies. More details can be found at this link.

Auto companies like Maruti, Hyundai, Tata Motors, Toyota and Mahindra to set up recall code for defective cars - The Economic Times
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Old 26th June 2012, 11:42   #14
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Default Indian Auto Co's Set-up Recall Code

Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the auto industry lobby yesterday announced the “Voluntary Code on Vehicle Recall”, a set of guidelines for auto manufacturers on safety Recall.

What is Recall?

To paraphrase the definition provided by SIAM, “Motor vehicles are required to be designed and manufactured as per applicable standards so as to be sufficiently safe for road use. However, after release to markets, if the manufacturer decides that some vehicles have issues which pose a safety defect, such vehicles are voluntarily inspected and rectified by the manufacturers/importers (distributors), free of cost. This activity is called Recall.”

Salient Points

- Safety defect should have originated at the design, manufacturing or assembly stage
- Defect caused due to wear and tear, improper maintenance and servicing of vehicles or negligence by the owner or driver is not covered
- Recall to be applied only if internal inspection by manufacturer indicates a safety defect or when a defect appears in multiple vehicles of the same model/batch
- Manufacturers to solely decide the number of affected vehicles that is sufficient enough to invoke Recall
- All vehicle owners (as per the records with manufacturers or dealers) to be notified by manufacturers or dealers about Recall details; but they are not liable to contact second owners
- Vehicles will be covered under safety Recall for seven years
- If manufacturers fail to announce Recall when evidence suggests they should, the Government of India/Ministry may issue appropriate directions to the auto manufacturers for such violation

Need for independent agency

As is evident, SIAM’s Voluntary Code on Vehicle Recall allows the manufacturers too much control with respect to fixing vehicle defects. Self-auditing is not a transparent solution. It would be incredibly naïve to expect manufacturers to completely reveal the extent of a safety defect or the nature of a Recall.

Therefore, the need for an independent agency along the lines of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) in the USA and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) in the UK cannot be understated. The functions of this agency, among others, could include regularly tracking safety performance of vehicles and analysing accident patterns through police and media reports, which can expose safety defects. Backed by a government body like the National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project (NATRiP), and authorised to take punitive actions against offenders, this agency could be effective in maintaining stringent auto safety standards.

NATRiP should also set up a cell where car owners can report problems with their vehicles. Frequent complaints about the same issue by multiple car owners can be a vital tool in identifying defects.

Interestingly, SIAM’s guidelines on Recall come at a time when the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) and the Heavy Industries Ministry are contemplating a plan to devise a mandatory auto recall policy by the end of this year.

Past Recalls in India

- February 2010, Maruti recalled 100,000+ units of A-Star to replace a faulty fuel pump part
- February 2011, Honda recalled 57,853 units of the City to replace faulty engine parts
- April 2011, Maruti Suzuki recalled 13,157 Swift & Ritz diesel models to fix engine defects
- September 2011, Honda again recalled 72,115 units of the City to replace defective power window switches
- December 2011, Toyota Kirloskar announced recall of 41,000 units (Etios and Liva) to replace a faulty inlet pipe to the fuel tank
- December 2011, Tata Motors took 140,000 Nano cars off the roads to replace the starter motor, but refrained from calling the exercise a “Recall.”

Last edited by GTO : 4th July 2012 at 08:25. Reason: Updating with our own Article on the same
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Old 2nd July 2012, 10:53   #15
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Default re: Soon, India to have a "Recall" Policy

Government revs up for car-recall policy.

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Sources said the government would oppose the guidelines which the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers is set to unveil on Monday. SIAM's guidelines do not impose penalties and merely "expect" the car maker to declare defects. "The move will serve no purpose as companies are not open to admitting faults when it is based on self-regulation," an official said.

Government revs up for car-recall policy - The Economic Times
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