India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India Limited on Friday announced it would recall 40,618 units of its hatchback Wagon R powered by its 1 litre K series petrol engine to inspect for a possible issue of fuel hose fouling with metal clamp.
The cars under inspection were manufactured between November 15, 2018 and August 12, 2019.
"Starting Saturday owners of the suspected vehicles will be contacted by Maruti Suzuki dealers for inspection and replacement of the faulty parts, free of cost," the company said in a statement. "Alternatively, customers of suspected WagonR (1 litre) vehicles can visit the Company website and fill in the chassis number (MA3 followed by 14 digit alpha-numeric number) on the computer screen to check if their vehicle needs any attention. The chassis number is embossed on the vehicle ID plate and is also in the vehicle invoice / registration documents."
This is one of the largest recall exercises carried out by Maruti in India so far. In April 2013 it had recalled more than 100,000 units of its premium hatchback Swift, the compact sedan based on that Dzire and MPV Ertiga to fix a fault in the fuel neck filter. In September 2014 it had recalled another 69,555 units of the Swift, Ritz and Dzire to fix the wiring harness in the cars. Another 33,098 units of its bestselling small car Alto were recalled in March 2015 to fix defective door latches.
Once considered a bad word and symbolised poor manufacturing processes, product recalls have become routine in global automotive industry as machines have become more complex and prone to malfunctioning from even a minor oversight in the supply chain. They have also increasingly become a mark of more honest and transparent business practice as more and more companies have initiated recalls in recent times.
Only last month Ford recalled 22,690 units of its SUV Endeavour produced at its Chennai factory over 10 years between February 2004 and September 2014 and around 30,000 units of the Freestyle, Figo and Aspire.
The biggest recall so far in India was carried out by General Motors in July 2015 when it conducted the exercise in 1.7 lakh units of the small car Beat. Ford has undertaken recalls the most number of times. In August 2012, it announced an inspection of over 125,000 cars in India for possible defect in the rear axle and a replacement of power steering hose that may result in fire in extreme cases. In September 2013, it had expanded the recall to cover around 1.65 lakh cars. Overall Ford has recalled more than 300,000 cars in India in the last 15 years.
India does not have a mandatory policy for recalls yet but following an initiative to voluntarily call back vehicles for inspection suspected to be defective by industry body Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) in 2012, more than 2 million cars have been recalled in India so far. The dreaded word has since lost its sting.