General Motors India may need to pay a fine of 3.4 crore rupees to the Ministry of Transport for violating the technical specifications to meet the emission norms for its MUV, the Chevrolet Tavera. As you know, this had resulted in the recall of 1.14 lakh Taveras across the country.
The Transport Ministry has said that it will instruct the governments of Gujarat and Maharashtra to initiate proceedings against General Motors in accordance with the Central Motor Vehicles Act. GM has its manufacturing plants in these states. This decision was taken yesterday at a meeting of the Ministry of Transport that was also attended by the officials of the other ministries.
A senior official from the Ministry of Transport said that a 3 member panel will lead the investigation to fix responsibility and culpability while suggesting measures to prevent such happenings in the future. He further said, “According to Section 177 of the act, whosoever contravenes any provision of the act can be fined Rs 100 for the first offence and Rs 300 for every subsequent offence.”
Abiding by this specification of the fine and the number of vehicles manufactured, GM would need to pay a fine of Rs. 3.4 crore if every vehicle manufactured is considered a unit of offence or violation.
While the fine may not seem to be a very large sum of money, it is the dent in the credibility of the brand that will hurt GM a lot more. Consumer forums have already begun raising their voices saying they have been cheated and are demanding replacement vehicles.
In the meantime, General Motors has sent a fresh prototype of the Tavera to the ARAI for testing and validation. This is a BS-III compliant vehicle. If it clears the ARAI certification, it can be sold and registered in the non-metro towns of the country. General Motors is also working on a BS-IV compliant version of the Tavera and we expect it to be sent for certification and approval soon.