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Govt okays formula for triggering recall of vehicles in case of identical complaints

(This story originally appeared in on Sep 30, 2020)

NEW DELHI: The road transport ministry has approved the formula for initiating the mandatory recall of vehicles of a particular model, if there are complaints of identical defects. The trigger for such recall will be linked to the percentage of complaints received from consumers and the annual sale volume of the particular model. In the case of mass selling vehicles, the percentage of complaints to trigger the recall will be lesser considering the high volume of sales.

The recall will be limited to vehicles which are less than seven years old from the date of manufacturing, import or retro fitment. The provision for voluntary and mandatory vehicle recall has been made a part of the amended Motor Vehicle Act. Sources said road transport minister Nitin Gadkari has approved the decision, which will be notified. The ministry had finalised the norm after holding several rounds of discussion with the automobile industry.

For example, in the case of a car or SUV, if the annual sale is up to 500 units, 100 complaints (20% of the sold units) will be enough for the government to initiate the recall process. But in the case of cars and SUVs, which register annual sale of more than 501 and less than 10,000 units, the number of complaints have to be up to at least 1,050 and in the case of cars sold beyond 10,000 units in a year, the number of complaints need to be at least 1,250, sources said.

Similar formula has been worked out for two-wheelers, three wheelers and quadricycles. However, there will be a uniform formula for other categories of vehicles including big passenger vehicles, buses and trucks. In those cases, the complaints of defects equivalent to 3% of the annual sales will trigger the government to start the process of recall.

The ministry has defined the defects as a fault in any vehicle or component or software that poses or is likely to pose undue risk to road safety or environment. The consumer will have the option to register an application on the vehicle recall portal giving the particulars of the vehicle, his nature of the defect. Sources said the complaints have to be genuine.

The designated authority after receiving applications from consumers will issue a show cause notice to the manufacturer, importer or retrofitter of the motor vehicle and will seek response within 30 days. After receiving the response the authority will carry out an investigation to find whether the vehicle is a “defective motor vehicle” before ordering mandatory recall.



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