With instances of car makers recalling their products to rectify defects increasing in India, industry body SIAM said it is working on a voluntary recall policy for its members to address the issue. "There is no government policy on recall. What we are doing is framing a guideline for our members. It is a voluntary initiative from the manufacturers," Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) President S Sandilya told reporters. When asked by when the policy will be finalised, he said: "We are working on it now...in the next few months you will hear some announcement on it."
Over the past few years, the Indian automobile market has witnessed its share of car recalls by various companies. In February, German luxury auto maker BMW had said it will start recalling 3,422 units of 5- and 6-Series cars in India to replace a faulty battery cable cover, as part of a global exercise. Market leader Maruti Suzuki India recalling one lakh units of its A-Star hatchback to replace a fuel pump gasket for checking a possible fuel leakage in 2009 was the biggest such exercise in India. In September, 2011, Honda Siel Cars India said it would call back 72,115 units of its flagship mid-sized City sedan to replace defective power window switches. Toyota Kirloskar Motor had also announced last year the recall of 41,000 units of its Etios sedan and Liva small car in India to replace a faulty inlet pipe to the fuel tank.
Tata Motors, on the other hand, without terming it as a recall had last year asked an estimated 1.40 lakh Nano owners to bring back their cars for change of the starter motor free -of-cost. It was the biggest-ever replacement exercise in the Indian automobile history. Similarly in November, 2010,, Tata Motors had asked about 70,000 Nano buyers to bring back their cars to add fire-safety devices free-of-cost, after a series of instances of the car catching fire. Very recently, the company had also admitted that it had offered to replace a part in the suspension system free-of- cost for its sedan Manza.
Sandilya said the voluntary recall policy "is in the interest of the manufacturers and make them proactive rather than being reactive". "This will, however, not be mandatory as we can't mandate companies to do it," he added.