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Old 15th August 2013, 02:52   #91
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Friends,

There seems to be some confusion here regarding the Tavera's engine.

Most of the 1lakh+ recalled vehicles must be the BSIII Taveras that are sold in the smaller cities and towns. These cannot be registered in the large cities where BSIV norms came into effect some time ago. The engine powering these BSIII Taveras is actually an Isuzu diesel engine (as the Chevy Tavera itself is a rebadged Isuzu Panther). This is built by Avtec (a company that belongs to the same group as HM) for General Motors. As you know, Avtec/HM have a history of building Isuzu engines for themselves and others. So its only natural that GM gave them the contract to build these engines (in the early Opel days, HM also held a significant stake in GM India).

Since this engine is an old Isuzu design (direct injection turbo-diesel, but NOT common rail) that could not be upgraded to meet BSIV norms, GM was briefly forced to discontinue the Tavera from large cities. They went scouting for a suitable engine that could fill this void and the best option was provided by ICML (Sonalika). They did have a BSIV common-rail engine powering their Rhino UV which hardly sells, and so they were only too glad to supply the same to GM. This happens to be a Rover derived engine. It was a win-win for both companies. GM made some slight engineering modifications to the Tavera to accept this engine and released it in BSIV cities not too long ago, along with a cosmetic facelift.

The issue is, GM initially stated that the BSIV Tavera was not affected by the recall. They even claimed they were stepping up production of the BSIV Tavera while simultaneously working to fix the "potential emissions issue" with the BSIII models.

This sounded very suspicious after they announced the recall. The recall included ALL Taveras sold after a particular date. Most of them are BSIII ones, but also include the newer BSIV ones. Clearly, not everything related to this issue is out in the public domain, at least as of now.

Another deeply worrying thing is about the diesel-engined Sail twins, whose production was stopped due to "a quality issue" according to the company. There is no word on what this issue is, whether a fix has been found and whether the vehicles already sold would be recalled. Does this "quality issue" not affect the Enjoy diesel that is powered by the same engine and whose sales haven't been stopped? If so, how? No word from GM on these issues either!

Last edited by RSR : 15th August 2013 at 02:57.
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Old 19th August 2013, 10:27   #92
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Default Re: General Motors India recalls 1.14 lakh units of the Tavera

My two cents on the issue:

1. GM has failed to honour the law and its required commitments as per the CMVR and should be heavily penalised as a company.

2. Criminal proceedings to be initiated against its employees / QA inspectors and all others in the chain for substituting engines in cars that went for approval.

3. Initiate enquiry into ARAI's inspectors for their lapses on the checking part and criminal proceedings if found guilty.

4. Formulate a policy that a manufacturer stamps the engine no along with chassis no along with VIN on a certificate of compliance that can be verified during Regn / later stage and be responsible for a check during Regn / customer initiated check.

5. Make pollution check a mandatory part of the inspection during registration process.
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Old 19th August 2013, 18:07   #93
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Default Re: General Motors India recalls 1.14 lakh units of the Tavera

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Originally Posted by RSR View Post
Friends,

There seems to be some confusion here regarding the Tavera's engine.

Most of the 1lakh+ recalled vehicles must be the BSIII Taveras that are sold in the smaller cities and towns.
Why would they recall BS3 Taveras?

BS3 Tavera need to meet BS3 emissions which dont require a cat?
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Old 19th August 2013, 19:36   #94
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Default Re: General Motors India recalls 1.14 lakh units of the Tavera

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Why would they recall BS3 Taveras?

BS3 Tavera need to meet BS3 emissions which dont require a cat?

They've recalled the BSIII versions because, well, how do I put it, all the chicanery they seem to have done to pass the emissions test was on the BSIII model. It looks like the old Isuzu engine could not meet BSIII norms comfortably enough. So I guess they sent some specially prepared vehicles which could clear the emissions test during the mandatory homologation testing. Once they got the certificate, they seem to have resorted to selling Taveras without this special emissions package (whatever it was). This got discovered during the surprise ARAI checks. Legally, such actions would be blatant fraud, trickery, whatever. Equally serious is the fact that so many vehicles were spewing out emissions in quantities more than they were allowed to.

Of course, GM know they got themselves into a deep, deep mess. This recall of 1lakh+ vehicles is more of a desperate damage control activity than a genuine recall. Scapegoats were also found within the company, both in India and the US, and those folks were given marching orders. They're waiting to know the amount the company will be fined, though I think they might manage to get it down to a relatively low amount. I believe GM would have politely "requested" their mainstream media friends to go easy on reporting anything about this issue as well (half, full and cover page advertisements & TV commercials can have an influence on the minds of folks other than consumers ) That's why there is so little information coming out.

I don't quite know what they did to make the Tavera's engine BSIII compliant and why they left it out of the ones they sold to customers (cost, perhaps?) They claim they will fit something that has been approved by ARAI (probably a cat-con) to all those BSIII Taveras to make them compliant. They want to give the impression that this is merely a recall to fix an emissions issue with the exhaust treatment system. If the whole truth got revealed, it would damage the company's reputation quite badly. The recall of BSIV Taveras with ICML's engines is also quite suspicious, since this engine should be able to meet the emissions test quite comfortably.

I do believe there must be a whole lot more going on than what the public is aware of, or allowed to know.

As if all this wasn't enough for the company, the production stoppage of the diesel Sail twins for an unknown "quality issue" has added to their woes. There is no news yet about them identifying the issue or finding a fix, not to mention recall of the ones already sold.

Disclaimer @ all whom it may concern: Since not everything is known on this issue, whatever I've mentioned above is merely my own understanding of the situation - something I arrived at by putting together the various little bits of information that were reported by the mainstream media and the press releases of GM. I may be right or I may be wrong on one or more of these aspects and that's why I've mentioned things like "I believe", "I guess", "it looks like" etc. in my post as this is purely my understanding of the situation.

I'm not associated with General Motors or any of their subsidiaries, partners, suppliers, associates etc. in any manner. Nor do I have anything against the company in any form. I'm not even a customer of GM - never owned any of their vehicles. I'm only an ordinary automobile enthusiast who also happens to believe that the consumer rights of Indian auto buyers must be respected by automobile companies.

Last edited by RSR : 19th August 2013 at 19:48.
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Old 4th September 2013, 10:41   #95
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Default Re: General Motors India recalls 1.14 lakh units of the Tavera

Chevrolet Tavera recall Ė the real story !

The main reason for the recall of 114,000 Taveras by GM India last month for irregularities in exhaust emission tests can be traced back to 2003-2004 when the company was gearing up for the move from BSII to BSIII emission standards.
GM had two options to upgrade the Taveraís then 2.5 litre Isuzu engine to the new emission standards that came in to effect on April 1, 2005. One route to meet the emission norms was with a decent safety margin of around 30 percent but this involved upgrading the fuel-injection pump, which was a costly component.
However, BSIII could also be met by improving the Ďafter treatmentí with a better catalytic converter and without changing the fuel pump. This would save the company approximately US$ 1700 per car and not surprisingly, GM chose to take the less expensive route to BSIII.
But, by using the older fuel pump the ageing Isuzu just about scraped through to BSIII with approximately just a 15 percent margin for error. That wasnít the issue because meeting emission norms is a straightforward pass or fail test and it doesnít matter how much you pass by.
With a small margin for error itís likely that if emissions varied substantially the Tavera would fail to meet the norms. Over time, manufacturing inconsistencies crept into Tavera production and this meant that some batches of Taveras didnít actually meet the BS III standards.

Here is the twist. GM engineers were reportedly aware of that some Taveras were not meeting the norms and would dodge the Conformity of Production (COP) audit by making available pre-tested, BS III-compliant engines to the inspectors. There was also allegedly another form of manipulation, by which certain variants of the Tavera were wrongly counted in a higher weight class in order to be able to face more lenient emissions standards.

Whatís admirable is that GM on its own accord brought these issues to the notice of the authorities.
However, industry experts say this letter, which was drafted by lawyers, is one safeguard against litigation that could arise from any lawsuits in the future.
However, there are still too many questions that are left unanswered and this has left a tarnished image of GM-India.

http://autocarpro.in/contents/techno...chnologyID=212
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Old 4th September 2013, 11:02   #96
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Default Re: General Motors India recalls 1.14 lakh units of the Tavera

Why give a timeline at all , let it be a completely genuine surprise visit , call them from the gate and tell them to open it up , giving any kind of a schedule would allow for more focus from the entire company on what is being produced , how it is being produced and get them to behave themselves till the inspection is over...

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ARAI intends to propose that instead of declaring a particular day on which testing agency visits the factory for picking up vehicles for CoP test, ARAI could declare a broad timeline of a particular week or a month within which, the agency can land up without giving prior notice to the automobile companies.

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Old 6th September 2013, 21:37   #97
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Default Re: General Motors India recalls 1.14 lakh units of the Tavera

This only proves that Arai officials were hand in glove with Gm guys for having willfully conducted tests on the same old engines.
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Old 19th October 2013, 20:33   #98
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Default Re: General Motors India recalls 1.14 lakh units of the Tavera

GM restarts production of Tavera vehicles in India.

General Motors Co has restarted the production of its Tavera sport-utility vehicles in India after receiving regulatory approvals.

Source: ET
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Old 22nd October 2013, 09:14   #99
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Default Re: General Motors India recalls 1.14 lakh units of the Tavera

Government appointed panel has suggested action against General motors for tampering engines sent for emission testing.
As per TOI report General motors had tampered the engines sent for emission testing at government agencies.

TOI report
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Old 22nd October 2013, 14:12   #100
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Default Re: General Motors India recalls 1.14 lakh units of the Tavera

GM India likely to be fined Rs 1.5 crore.

An estimated penalty of over Rs 1.5 crore under the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, under the auspices of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, is likely to be imposed on General Motors India for weight-fudging issues and subsequent recall of 1,14,000 Taveras in July this year.
Besides, a police case may be initiated in Gujarat and Maharashtra where GM India has its two manufacturing facilities.

http://www.autocarindia.com/auto-new...re-361477.aspx

Last edited by volkman10 : 22nd October 2013 at 14:13.
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Old 22nd October 2013, 14:46   #101
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Default Re: General Motors India recalls 1.14 lakh units of the Tavera

Though the matter is now in public domain and many of the sr. officials of India and US operation of GM have faced the music including termination of few. On face of it, this may look right but I have serious doubts that

1. ARAI was hands in glove with GM on this matter. The process for product approval is carried out on a batch and the type approval is provided both of compliance as well as for reporting purposes for a particular product. More so, this is first of such matter that has come in limelight. ARAI can be at best considered to be short of delivering what they are suppose to, but more so this instance calls for revised process of product approval, continuous checking of what is being sold and course correction as and when required. I am sure the government committee must have made suggestions / recommendations on the improvement required at the field level for agencies like ARAI.

2. Only top management was responsible for this fraud (if it finally gets established at the court of law). This can happen at the engine supplier level also, it is important to note that the engines were supplied by a Birla Company, which is also responsible for production of Ambassador in India. The level of their technical capabilities is known to the market (as they could only now get an approval for a BS IV motor for their Ambassador). The engine supplier could also be responsible for this mess as in most of the cases the cost of components sourced from vendors do not get a price hike for comparatively longer duration, though the product manufacturer keeps on increasing the product cost and thus quality compromise / cutting corners could have happened. The engine manufacturer was well aware of the emissions from the engine supplied by them to GM and it is not possible that non-compliance was not there and not known to people / agencies outside of GM. Someone has to be made scapegoat here and I think the list is going to be long. Picking up CEOs / MDs between 2005-2012 may serve this purpose for GM – not sure how though.

My only two cents, if these 2 gentlemen were a party to this issue – never subsidise your company as the company is not going to subsidise you. If they have done this mistake while thinking that it will add to the company’s bottom line and profitability in India, well the fruits are right here, the company is not sparing them for this.
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Old 22nd October 2013, 14:48   #102
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Default Re: General Motors India recalls 1.14 lakh units of the Tavera

Is 1.5 crore not a very small amount for this? I feel the government should set an example that this is not something which companies can get away with easily.
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Old 22nd October 2013, 15:11   #103
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Default Re: General Motors India recalls 1.14 lakh units of the Tavera

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Is 1.5 crore not a very small amount for this? I feel the government should set an example that this is not something which companies can get away with easily.
Financial Express is saying the total cost to GM attributable to this fiasco is in the Rs. 500 crore range:

http://www.financialexpress.com/news...ties/1152568/0

That is assuming a Rs. 11 crore fine. I hope the fine is at least 10 times that.

It seems that Tata Motors might lose its MD as collateral damage.
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Old 23rd October 2013, 07:43   #104
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Default Re: General Motors India recalls 1.14 lakh units of the Tavera

GM India faces Rs 11cr fine for Tavera mess!

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/...w/24558361.cms
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Old 25th October 2013, 09:51   #105
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Default Re: General Motors India recalls 1.14 lakh units of the Tavera

Found this interesting article on ET

The men who blew the whistle on GM's 'corporate fraud'

American car giant General Motors sent Christian Schoenherr to its Bangalore technical centre earlier this year to help develop engines. But Schoenherr unearthed the fraud that has since led to the recall of 1.14 lakh units of popular utility vehicle Tavera, and sparked a government investigation that found General Motors India guilty of 'corporate fraud'. A highly placed source, privy to the entire investigation, identified Schoenherr as the man who blew the whistle.

It was in June, barely a few months after coming to India, that Schoenherr, head of Engineering at the GM Technical Centre at Bangalore and his colleague Joel Fillmore, head of the power train division got the first scent of ongoing malpractices.

They discovered that company officials had fudged tests by fitting 'pre-selected compliant engines' on new vehicles that were going for tests. This helped GM secure certificate of Conformity of Production (COP) for its vehicles.

Two junior Indian engineers, Hemant Padhye and Neeraj Gupta, had 'appraised' Schoenherr about the fraudulent practices. Both have since quit GM. "This year during COP tests, the two engineers informed him (Schoenherr) about it," the source said.

Schoenherr immediately escalated the matter and informed his bosses in the US, and GM headquarters wielded the axe. Fifteen GM executives from India and overseas were shown the door.

Schoenherr was present in at least three meetings of a three-member government committee headed by Nitin Gokarn, CEO of project director of NATrIP or National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project, and shared the relevant evidence. The committee found General Motors guilty and recommended punitive fines.

P Balendran, Vice President, General Motors India, and the official spokesperson declined to comment on specifics.

"We determined there was an emissions problem. We investigated it and identified violations of company policy. We developed a solution to the emissions problem, and recalled the vehicles to serve our customers," he said. "We held people accountable. And, we advised Indian authorities. Beyond that, we're not able to comment as we've not heard from the government or seen the report."

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/...w/24684036.cms
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