It’s a problem that exists, but Maruti refuses to acknowledge it. Some of the new Maruti Swifts have an issue with the brakes – they sometimes become ineffective at crawl speeds – as can be seen by the number of people who’ve brought the issue to light on CarToq and other online forums. Also see: Braking issues with new Swift

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Last month, the Society for Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) issued a voluntary code of conduct to automobile manufacturers to “recall” vehicles that need a problem fixed. However, Indian automotive manufacturers hate to admit there is a problem, and even when they have “recalled” vehicles, it has never been termed a recall. It’s either called a “retro-fit” or seen as an act of benevolence on the part of the company – in the hope of appearing really proactive and customer-friendly.

In Maruti’s case, it’s neither. The company has not officially acknowledged the problem and has not replied to an email query from CarToq either. Not acknowledging the problem does not mean it does not exist, as can be seen from the complaints we’ve received. But acknowledging the problem probably has far greater consequences for the company and hence it is staying tight-lipped, while probably figuring out a solution behind the scenes – something it can later call as a “retro-fit” and get away with, without too much bad publicity. And since it’s a problem that occurs at very low speeds and not potentially life threatening, the company probably does not see this as a major safety concern.

What exactly is the problem with the Swift’s brakes?

Some members of the CarToq community have reported that at low speeds, in bumper-to-bumper traffic, when one is driving with the clutch pedal half depressed and also using the brakes at the same time (a typical situation on crowded, sloped roads in Bangalore for instance), the brake pedal suddenly becomes hard to press and is not effective – the car does not stop when intended. This is a typical case of the brake booster losing vacuum at very low rpm.

However, this problem does not appear to be widespread. In fact, even if a hundred people report this problem, it is too small a number (less than 1%) compared to the total number of Swifts being sold every month (over 15,000 sold each month). CarToq experts tried to replicate this problem on dealer test cars in various cities after speaking with members who had complained about it, but were not successful, which means that this is an issue that’s not prevalent on all cars or requires very specific driving conditions.

Maruti cannot be forced to issue a recall for the Swift either unless the problem is widespread and easily proven – or if there are legal cases that come up because of this problem. The SIAM code of conduct is only a voluntary one and has no real powers to force manufacturers to recall cars.

Will the Swift ever be recalled for this braking issue? Share your thoughts.

 

Source: Forbes India

 

3 COMMENTS

  1. The problem with the swift has always been bad brakes. The older version of the swift also had the same issue but what is interesting is the braking was bad at higher speeds, and not at lower speeds. I have the older older version of the swift dzire and the braking is pathetic at speeds above 120, and inspite of my many complaints with Maruti nothing was done. Infact the service manager at MAndovi maruti bangalore advised me to resort to engine braking, and dismissed my case. The regional manager in bangalore also was utter useless. Now I have changed my driving style and rarely cross 120. The new version swift has a different brake booster as compared to the older version. I had planned to upgrade my brakes with the new booster , but thankfully i didn’t hurry and do that. The new booster is definitely more effective at higher speeds as compared to my car. However i failed to notice this paricular problem at lower sppeds when i test drove the the new version.

  2. i have faced this particular issue on my new swift and even got it checked with dealer in Bangalore. He took for a test drive and was not able to replicate that. This is indeed noticed only at low speeds especially in traffic where we are moving very slow bumper to bumper.

  3. Facing same issue in my Swift Dzire ZXI, bought on 09/12/2012, after some time I found the issue. Still I am facing this issue, and not yet raised complain to maruti. so pl. dont use New swift …it was there with old swift also .

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