India plans to implement a mandatory vehicle-return policy following recalls of hundreds of thousands of cars this year.
Honda, Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Renault and now General Motors (GM) are among companies that have called back vehicles in India this year for failing to meet manufacturing quality requirements, totalling more than 300,000 units.
GM’s recent recall of 114,000 Chevrolet Tavera people-carriers over faulty reporting of engine-emissions tests, was one of the largest in India’s history.
The firm fired 25 employees including its chief financial officer after an internal probe found that employees in India and the US had misled the Indian government about the test results.
The scandal has piled extra pressure on the government, which has been criticised in the past for being soft on auto-makers. Officials said there was a need for a policy where the testing and recall process was better managed, with stiffer penalties for offenders.
India is looking into shifting from a self-regulated voluntary code to a formal recall system, which could levy penalties including fines or even stop production when faults are found.
This year alone in India Ford recalled 972 units of its EcoSport due to a faulty glow plug; Honda recalled 42,672 Honda City cars to replace a power window switch; Toyota recalled 1,100 units of its Corolla Altis because of faulty drive shafts; Nissan recalled 22,188 units of its Micra and Sunny due to a faulty braking system; and Nissan’s French partner Renault recalled 7,000 cars including its Pulse and Scala due to faulty braking.
On 29 July GM said it was also considering recalling diesel versions of its Sail saloon and Sail UV hatchback over emissions and quality issues.
Ambuj Sharma, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Heavy Industries, said support for a mandatory system is growing. “We hope to take a decision early as to whether we can have a government administered recall policy just like Europe, Japan and the USA.”