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Auto recall no more an easy call

Minister of heavy industries and public enterprises Anant Geete will meet auto manufacturers next week to discuss the issue of imposing penalties on companies for defective vehicles that make their way to the market and have to be subsequently recalled.

Maruti Suzuki is among the other leading car companies that have recalled some of their leading brands in the recent past. Maruti Suzuki is among the other leading car companies that have recalled some of their leading brands in the recent past.

Minister of heavy industries and public enterprises Anant Geete will meet auto manufacturers next week to discuss the issue of imposing penalties on companies for defective vehicles that make their way to the market and have to be subsequently recalled.

"According to the proposal being worked out, the higher the number of recalls, the larger would be the penalty," a senior official told Mail Today on Wednesday.

Officials said that besides the number of vehicles recalled, the government will also look into the safety aspect adopted by automakers in determining the penalty under the proposed Mandatory Vehicle Recall Policy.

"The minister will have a series of meetings with the ministry officials in the next few days," the official said.

Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam), the industry body of automakers which is protesting the government's move to impose penalties on recalls, has written to the heavy industries minister for an one- to- one meeting soon.

The ministry received a letter in this regard on Wednesday soon after Geete took over his new assignment.

Unlike western countries, there is no specific recall policy in India. Auto companies recall vehicles voluntarily depending on manufacturing defects as initiated by Siam in 2012.

The new government is keen on formulating a policy on auto recall soon that will provide guidelines that could act as a deterrent for erring automakers to ensure that they provide world- class vehicles free of defects either from the manufacturing end or at the end of the dealers.

"This must ensure that number of accidents is also reduced," the official added.

The new government is also deliberating if a suo moto investigation can be ordered in such matters.

"The Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) would soon be asked to provide a draft of the action plan required in this regard," the ministry official explained.

Approvals will have to be sought from the surface transport ministry and an amendment in the Motor Vehicles Act will be required which will need the approval of Parliament.  

Courtesy: Mail Today