In less than four months the automotive industry has recorded more recalls this year in comparison to 2017 as luxury and premium car and bike manufacturers have appealed to owners to get their vehicles fixed to avoid life threatening injuries.
More than 88,600 vehicles have been recalled by seven manufacturers until April 2018, surpassing the total of 80,531 units recalled last year by 12 manufacturers, according to data shared by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
Mercedes-Benz India, Toyota Kirloskar, Honda Cars India, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, India Kawasaki Motors, Suzuki Motorcycle India and Triumph Motorcycle have recalled vehicles in the current calendar year. Renault has also initiated a recall of an unspecified number of the 800cc variant of the Kwid.
The recalls were made to address critical issues such as untimely inflation of airbags or a malfunction in its deployment, sudden engagement of neutral gear when vehicle is in motion and loss of control of vehicle in high speed.
India’s largest luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz recalled 2,673 units of the A-Class, B-Class, C-Class, GLA and CLA to fix unwarranted deployment of driver airbag, which could result in an injury to the driver.
Japanese super bike maker Kawasaki recalled 140 units of the flagship Ninja ZX-10R and its variant to fix a gearbox issue, which if unattended could lead loss of control over the bike.
Honda Cars India, the fifth-largest car maker in the country, has recalled the highest number of cars so far in 2018 at 22,834 units. Accord, Jazz and City have been recalled by Honda to replace Takata front passenger airbag inflators.
Japanese heavyweight Toyota, whose global airbag-related recall figure breached the 25 million-mark, recalled the second most number of vehicles in India during the last quarter. The company is recalling 6,524 units of Corolla and Prius to fix an issues with the airbag, which can degrade after prolonged exposure of propellant to high absolute humidity and high temperature.
On Monday Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India announced it was recall around 56,200 units of Activa 125, Grazia and Aviator to rectify the excessive hardness in a bolt mounted in the front fork.
India does not have a formal recall policy yet despite assurances from the government in the past of putting a legal framework in place for recalls.
So far, auto manufacturers have been guided by the Voluntary Code on Vehicle Recall (Code), formulated by SIAM. However, since the Code has been formulated by the apex lobby body and adherence to the same is voluntary, it has no legal binding effect. In the US, vehicle owners can drag manufacturers to court for damage claims.
At present there is no proposal under consideration in the Department of Heavy Industries to levy fine on manufacturers for faulty vehicles.