Until recently, Renault used to export the made-in-India Duster to the United Kingdom. The Duster SUVs exported from India bore Dacia insignia. Dacia is a Romanian low cost car maker, acquired by Renault a few years ago. Dacia is now Renault’s low cost arm in Europe.
While shifting the Duster’s export operations out of India, Renault gave the following reasons:
- Renault wants to meet the Duster demand from the Indian car market and lower waiting periods
- Currency fluctuations were not in favour of the company. (This, even as the Indian rupee was at its weakest vis-a-vis the US Dollar.
- Logistics were said to be another impediment to exporting the India built Duster to the UK.
Over the last couple of years, India-made Dacia Dusters have been the subject of scrutiny in the United Kingdom, after multiple reports from owners claiming rusting issues on their SUVs. Now, the rusting issue was not specific to the Duster sold in the UK but have been reported by many owners of this SUV in India as well. Why, the Duster’s badge engineered sibling, the Nissan Terrano, has also been reported to have issues of body rusting.
Months ago, Renault issued a recall for the India-made Dacia Duster in the United Kingdom. The recall was meant to address the rusting/corrosion issue that has been plaguing the Duster SUV sold in that part of the world. However, a similar recall has not yet been issued in India, a country that has a wide range of places that have climactic conditions similar to that of the United Kingdom. Will Renault-Nissan issue a recall of the Duster and Terrano SUVs sold in India? Time will tell!
This once again brings us to the big question, when will India have a government regulated mandatory vehicle recall policy? Currently, the country’s vehicle owners are left at the mercy of automakers and the voluntary recall code of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). The sooner India gets a safety watchdog such as the United States’ NHTSA, the better it would be for the millions of vehicle owners here.