Faulty door latches on the Alto 800 and K10 hatchbacks has seen the country’s largest automaker, Maruti Suzuki, issue a recall for 33,098 vehicles. The recalled vehicles comprise of 19,780 units of the Alto 800, and 13,318 units of the Alto K10. The recalled cars were manufactured between 8th December 2014 and 18th February 2015, indicating that the automaker has caught the issue in quick time. The recall aims to fix the right hand door latching mechanism, which could give way under pressure, resulting in the door opening. This is a potential safety hazard and through this recall, Maruti Suzuki wants to ensure that all bases are covered.
India is yet to institute a government regulated recall policy, although such a policy is in the works. Currently, automakers in the country are signatories to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) voluntary recall policy. While most automakers have been pro-active in recalling defective cars, there have been instances of many problems and complaints raised by car owners going unheeded. It is for this purpose that a strong government regulatory body backed recall policy is needed. Such a policy will protect the interests of car owners, who individually find it very difficult to take on the might of corporations.
The Alto 800 and the K10 combined form India’s largest selling car nameplate, accounting for yearly sales of over 300,000 units. Both cars are known for reliability and fuss free operation for years, making them favourites among budget and first time car buyers. The Alto 800 uses a 796cc-3 cylinder F8D petrol engine with rated outputs of 47 Bhp-69 Nm, which operates by means of a 5 speed manual gearbox. This engine is also available in CNG-Petrol dual fuel option. The Alto K10 has a larger 1 liter engine, also in a three cylinder layout. The larger engine makes 67 Bhp-90 Nm, and is offered with 5 speed manual and automated manual gearboxes.