Toyota Recall – Indian car customers taken for many rides

It’s so easy for large companies like Toyota to get away without offering formal recalls in India. Worldwide, Toyota cars suffered from issues such as the accelerator pedal getting stuck or the brakes not always engaging. When these issues caught public attention, Toyota was quick to offer a recall in most countries except India.

Toyota India has gone on records to release a statement related to the recall : http://www.toyotabharat.com/inen/message.asp . I quote from this statement “…I would first of all like to reassure you that the global recalls are not connected with the Indian market in any way. In other words, none of the Toyota vehicles available to buyers in India will be affected by these recalls.”

I think the Toyota management is just using smart words to fool Indian customers.  What the above sentence means, in straight language, is that maybe there are faults in Toyota cars in India but we’re not offering any recalls.  Customers of the new Toyota Fortuner SUV are already screaming hoarse with their brakes losing power when applied at high speeds.  Toyota has started replacing brakes of customers who complain but is not officially announcing for a recall. Here’s a discussion on how customers are getting replacement – http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/technical-stuff/78133-toyota-upgrading-my-fortuners-brakes.html

All this is probably happening because Indian law enforcement is so lax, these companies and their hot-shot lawyers know ways of getting around them. Indian motor companies are now learning these odd ways from large MNC’s.

When Maruti had to change a component in over 100,000 A-star cars, it still did not offer an official recall. The reason?  “There was no attempt to hush up the matter. There was a delay in going public as India does not have a recall policy in contrast to countries in Europe which have a framework in place for reporting such matters,” Maruti Suzuki chairman R C Bhargava said. The product website – http://www.marutisuzukiastar.com/ – still does not offer any info on the recall.

And now, we have flaming Tata Nano’s being spread all over the country. The $2500 car had a great launch recently, a brand new car being driven by the showroom staff to its new owners home caught fire midway. Take a look – http://www.motorbeam.com/cars/tata-nano-cars/tata-nano-catches-fire-in-mumbai/ . As is now the case, many other Nano cars have faced issues but the company is yet to offer a recall.

I tried to search if the Indian Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 speaks about recall policies etc but there is nothing to that effect.  I hope someone brings this to the attention of the Transport Ministry and policies are created which forces motor companies to officially announce all recalls publicly.

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