We have been waiting to hear from Society Of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on the vehicle recall policy and finally it has spoken. SIAM has put forward a voluntary code on vehicle recall applicable for passenger vehicles including all types of cars, MPVs and SUVs, two-wheelers and commercial vehicles. The code specifies all the conditions and procedures the manufacturers need to follow on detection of any manufacturing defects in any of the two and four wheelers.
S Sandilya, president of Siam said,
“The recall code has been framed with consensus of all members. Companies would adhere to it voluntarily to rectify defects in vehicles and secure their own brand image. The expenses they incur to replace faulty parts as a part of the recall exercise do not require any additional penalties to be put in place,”
image Credits– Flickr
As per the guidelines, manufactures may voluntarily recall vehicles for the rectification of safety defects arising from the following:
- Steering components malfunctioning
- Brake system malfunctioning
- Fuel leakage
- Broken or cracked wheels
- Faulty Wiring systems
The policy would be applicable for 7 years, in addition to the warranty extended by manufacturers. What makes the observers raise questions is the absence of a regulatory body to enforce vehicle manufacturers to rectify arising problems caused by engineering flaws.
Unfortunately unlike America, Europe and Japan, the Indian manufacturers will not be penalized in case of non-adherence to the code as there is no such clause. SIAM says that if a manufacturer fails to announce a recall in the presence of clear evidence, necessary action will be taken but it does not state clearly whether a penalty will be there or not.
According to experts a voluntary recall policy cannot work.
“A voluntary recall policy cannot work. It can only work if there is a regulator to monitor the recalls and there should also be penal provisions,” said S P Singh, coordinator of the Indian Foundation of Transport, Research and Training
In US and China, manufacturers selling defective products or complaints registered against a manufacturer are taken seriously and if they do not recall the respective products immediately, they are subjected to hefty fines. The practice is yet to be developed in India but as experts say the voluntary recall code would be useless, we expect the government to impose stricter norms.