India's first recall policy announced by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers
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Customers who had to put up with faulty cars in absence of any response from the manufacturers can now relax. The industry lobby, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has officially declared the voluntary 'Recall Policy' under which every car manufacturer has to follow a strict protocol after detection of manufacturing glitches in their vehicles. Any such defects which compromise safety, needs to be taken care of, free of cost, by all automotive manufacturing companies, ranging from two-wheelers to commercial vehicles including the vehicles imported by foreign makers.
The safety recall will cover all such vehicles, which are manufactured under a period of seven years from now. Auto makers are liable to notify of such recalls on their official websites as well as through media.
President, SIAM, S. Sandilya, said, “The policy is a consensus of all the members and is another initiative towards our commitment to automotive quality and responsibility. All companies based in India will adhere to it voluntarily to rectify defects and secure their own brand image.” However, he also said that the policy allows government intervention if any violations of safety standards are proven.
Stating the policy, “In case a manufacturer fails to announce a recall, where clear evidence is available as per the definition and guidelines, then the government or its concerned ministry may issue appropriate directions to the vehicle manufacturers for such violation.”
Other developed countries already have government bodies functioning as nodal agencies, which regularly monitor road safety, which also has power to levy penalties and enforce recalls on the part of car makers. In the US, customer complaints are investigated by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which than issues notice to manufacturers to take proper actions. In China, the automotive companies are heavily fined besides a mandatory recall, if they are found to be violating the safety norms or selling defective products. On the other hand, in Europe, Japan and Australia, it is all up to the car maker to recall vehicles after receiving complaints from their prospective customers.
In India, government is planning to set up a body similar to that of NHTSA and has come up with a National Automotive Board (NAB), which will handle the automotive issues including recalls of faulty vehicles.
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