One lakh A-Star cars to be recalled – is 2010 the year of recalls for car manufacturers?
Maruti Suzuki has announced that it is recalling as many as 1 lakh A-Star cars – the flagship export model of the company – in order to replace a faulty fuel pump gasket.
The cars to be recalled will include those exported.
This is the biggest recall so far in the Indian automotive industry.
The recalled Maruti Suzuki A-Star cars belong to a lot made till August 22, 2009.
Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) said the final cost for the replacement will be shared with the supplier-partner after completing the whole exercise.
A spokesman for Maruti Suzuki India said the replacement will be done without charging anything from the customer. The company also will help check possible fuel leak, even though no complaints in this regard has been received from the customers.
Maruti Suzuki, the spokesman added, constantly monitors quality of its products through feedback and internal analysis. It was during one such exercise, in November 2009, that the company came across an abnormality reported in the fuel tank in some of the A-Star cars. By December 2009, Maruti Suzuki began contacting the customers of A-Star cars through letters.
Earlier, Maruti Suzuki India had recalled Swift, its hatchback car, in 2005 to change bolts to in order to reduce the front-suspension noise in Swift’s petrol version. In 2007, the company had recalled the electronic control units of the Swift diesel version.
The company had, in 2008, replaced speedometers in its M800, and in the Omni in 2008.
Maruti Suzuki India said that so far it has changed the fuel pump gasket in around 50,000 units of A-Star, the company’s fifth global model.
The company launched the A-Star model on November 19, 2008. The 998cc K10B petrol-engine car is produced only in India – at Maruti Suzuki’s facility in Manesar.
At present, A-Star is exported to around 70 countries. The A-Star is sold as Suzuki Alto in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The car is also exported to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Chile, Morocco, Algeria, and Angola.
Nissan, the leading Japanese carmaker, sells A-Star in Europe under a contract manufacturing agreement with Suzuki, the parent company of Maruti Suzuki India. Nissan sells the A-Star model as Pixo.
In December 2009, the A-Star had crossed the one-lakh mark in overseas shipments – in less than a year of selling the model globally.
Maruti Suzuki India, which began exporting the A-Star in January 2009, says it expects to double the export to about 140,000 units this fiscal.
In January 2010, Honda, of Japan, had recalled 8,532 units of its sedan, Honda City, in India because of faulty power-window switch as a part of a worldwide recall.
Honda Siel Cars India Limited (HSCI), the Indian subsidiary of Honda, had, in 2007, recalled around 4,000 units of CR-V, its sports utility vehicle, and 2,300 units of Accord, the luxury sedan, in what the company described as an effort at “product update.”