The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has approved the formula for mandatory vehicle recall for a particular model, in case there are complaints from the consumers of identical defects.
According to the mandatory vehicle recall formula approved by the MoRTH, such vehicle recall campaigns will be triggered by the percentage of complaints received from consumers and the annual sales volume of the particular model. These recalls will be limited to the vehicles which are less than seven years old from the date of manufacturing, import or retro-fitment.
The formula also says that in case of mass-selling vehicles, the percentage of complaints from consumers would be lesser considering the high volume of sales. These provisions for voluntary and mandatory vehicle recall has been made a part of the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Act 2019 that was implemented in September 2019.
The formula for vehicle recall has been finalised after several rounds of discussion between MoRTH and the automobile industry. The vehicle recall policy encourages the auto manufacturers to initiate a voluntary recall of defective vehicles by waiving off the financial penalty. According to the policy, in case a manufacturer doesn’t comply with defined rules, it might be slapped with a fine of up to Rs 100 crore.
The Society of Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) has been maintaining a voluntary recall information database since 2012, which collates all the vehicle recalls announced by the automakers.
Vehicle recall campaigns in India
In India, vehicle recalls have increased significantly in the last few years. In 2019, auto companies recalled a total of 3,04,017 units of vehicles, as compared to 1,62,869 vehicles recalled in 2018. In 2017, auto companies recalled 80,531 vehicles. On the other hand, in 2015 and 2016, auto companies recalled 10,00,467 units and 9,32,449 units respectively.
|Year||Vehicle recall count (Units)||YoY % change|
These were largely attributed to the vehicle recalls due to technical issues in Honda cars and General Motor models. Primary reasons cited for these vehicle recall campaigns were issues like faulty airbag inflators, critical braking issues, faulty suspension component, incorrect fitment of parts etc.
The year 2019 witnessed the highest adoption of safety norms by the Government. These include Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) in cars and Combi Braking System (CBS) in two-wheelers. The quintessential vehicle crash test norms also came into effect in 2019 for all types of cars, vans and SUVs.
Maruti Suzuki topped carmaker’s recall chart in 2019
In the passenger vehicle segment, automakers recalled a total of 2,36,754 units in 2019 as compared to 81,998 units recalled in 2018.
In 2019, the biggest carmaker in India, Maruti Suzuki recalled 1,04,111 units in two batches. On 6th December 2019, Maruti Suzuki recalled 63,493 units of hybrid petrol variants of Ciaz, Ertiga and XL6 over a defective Motor Generator Unit (MGU). These affected Maruti Suzuki models were manufactured between 1st January 2019 and 21st November 2019.
Maruti Suzuki also recalled 40,618 units of WagonR (1.0-litre) hatchbacks over an issue of fuel hose fouling with the metal clamp. These affected WagonR models were manufactured between 15th November 2018 and 12th August 2019.
Car recalls in India in 2019:
|Auto brand||Vehicle recall count (Units)|
|Maruti Suzuki India Limited||1,04,111|
|Ford India Pvt Ltd||52,690|
|Mahindra & Mahindra Limited||17,207|
|Mercedes-Benz India Pvt Ltd||17,190|
|Hyundai Motor India Limited||16,409|
|FCA India Automobiles Pvt Ltd||11,041|
|Honda Cars India Ltd||8,757|
|Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Pvt Ltd||8,235|
|BMW India Pvt Ltd *||1,065|
|Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt Ltd||49|
Among other automakers were Honda Cars India, Ford India, Toyota, Mahindra & Mahindra, FCA, Skoda Auto Volkswagen India Pvt Ltd etc.
The luxury carmakers like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, MINI, Lexus too recalled select models.
Honda led two-wheeler segment with maximum recalls
The two-wheeler segment saw a total of 67,773 units recalled in 2019, in comparison to 56,721 units recalled in 2018.
Among the two-wheeler makers present in India, market Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India (HMSI) recalled 50,034 units of two-wheelers. These recalled two-wheelers included four variants of the Aviator (Disc), Activa 125 (Disc), Grazia (Disc), CB Shine (Self Disc) CBS variants over a defective front brake master cylinder.
Two-wheeler recalls in India in 2019:
|Auto brand||Vehicle recall count (Units)|
|Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt Ltd||50,034|
|Harley Davidson India||43,908|
|Yamaha Motor India||7,757|
|India Kawasaki Motors||1,358|
Among others were Royal Enfield, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Harley Davidson, BMW Motorrad etc.
* BMW India Private Limited vehicle recall count includes BMW cars, MINI cars and BMW Motorrad motorcycles.