The India auto industry churns out a copious amount of new vehicles every second to meet the growing demand from Indian consumers and also exporting to other countries. Yes, the demand has been quite low in the recent past. Despite that, the number of vehicles being manufactured is astounding. But, every vehicle has so many moving parts which are brought in from the vast supply chain. Despite all the heavy quality controls in place, sometimes something gets overlooked, or a certain batch of components could arrive with defects in the manufacturing process. Some of these issues would not be apparent until much later. In such a case, automakers are forced to recall these vehicles and correct the mistake and also pay hefty fines.
In 2020 alone, the Indian auto industry recalled a total of 3,37,082. The number includes entry-level cars, luxury models, supercars, sports cars, SUVs, hybrids and more. But among them, these five were the biggest batch recalls we saw in 2020 from automakers in India and for these particular reasons according to the data released by SIAM.
Yes, General Motors has stopped selling vehicles in India, but the Chevrolet Cruze which was on sale some time ago was reported with an issue for its airbags. A recall for 5,064 units of the Chevrolet Cruze was issued in February 2020. The issued recall states that vehicles manufactured between 2014 — 2017 have been fitted with faulty airbags. The issue is similar to Takata Airbag scandal which has plagued the auto industry worldwide. It is likely, that this recall is related to the same.
In January 2020, Mercedes-Benz India announced a recall for current-generation E-Class and C-Class models. The recall was for the diesel-powered variants manufactured between September 2017 to February 2019 and May 2018 to February 2019 respectively. According to the recall by the German automaker, the stated cause is said to be due to fire risk as unburned fuel could be deposited in the catalytic converter in certain driving conditions. A total of 6,015 vehicles were affected by the recall. While the German automaker had recalled more vehicles for other issues this year, this recall was the automaker’s most significant batch recall.
Toyota issued two separate recalls for similar issues with its models. The first recall was issued in March 2020 for its petrol-powered models along with a few hybrid vehicles from Lexus. The models include the Innova Crysta, Fortuner and Corolla from the Toyota stable along with the LS500h, LS600h and the RX450h from Lexus. Depending on the specific models, the recall includes vehicles manufactured from October 2014 all the way up to October 2019. A total of 5,075 vehicles were said to be affected by this recall.
The second one was issued in July 2020 where 6,481 units of the Toyota Glanza was recalled. The affected models were the ones manufactured between April and October 2019. However, both these recalls were down due to faulty fuel pumps that would result in the vehicle to not start. But whether the fuel pump issues are identical in nature is not known at the moment.
Honda Cars India issued a recall for seven of its models. They include petrol-powered versions of the Amaze, City, Jazz, WR-V, BR-V, Brio and the CR-V. Cumulatively, the affected batch of vehicles was manufactured between July to December 2018. Honda stated that the cause for the recall was narrowed down to a faulty fuel pump which could lead to the engine to stop or not start. A total of 65,651 units were affected.
Maruti Suzuki is the largest automaker in India and produces multiple cars by the minute. Meaning if something goes wrong, it is likely to be big by default. In July 2020, the Indian manufacturer recalled a batch of the WagonR model which use the 1.0-litre petrol engine, along with a batch of all petrol variants of the Baleno. The affected batch of the WagonR was manufactured between November 2018 and October 2019. The affected batch of petrol-powered Baleno was built between January through to November 2019. Again the root cause for the recall is due to a faulty fuel pump motor that would lead to a stalled engine or the vehicle to not start. This recall by Maruti Suzuki included a total of 1,32,885 vehicles. It is likely that the recalled batch of Toyota Glanza was affected by the same issue as they are manufactured subsequently with the Baleno on the same assembly line.
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