Starter motor replacement in 1.4 lakh Nanos will cost the company Rs.110 crore
Tata Motors has asked all its old Nano car owners to get its starter motor replaced free of cost. Denying that it was any kind of recall for the world's cheapest car, the company said it has undertaken the replacement exercise covering around 1.4-lakh Nanos, the biggest-ever in India's automobile history, to put in new starter motor that was “better” and more “efficient” than the old one.
Stating that the old starter motor had no “technical glitch”, Tata Motors spokesperson Debasis Ray told The Hindu that “The company has taken a conscious decision to equip all its old Nano cars with new, more efficient starter motors, which are already being fitted in Nano's 2012 version introduced last month, that will further enhance performance of the car…we have not received any complaint for this (old starter motor).”
The company had already replaced starter motor for around 50,000 Nano cars. The entire exercise is likely to cost the company Rs.110 crore.
Since its launch, Nano has been in controversy after some cars caught fire. As a result, in November last year, Tata Motors asked about 70,000 Nano owners to bring back their cars to add fire safety devices to address some technical issues. All this led to decline in sales of Nano. However, in order to boost sales of the car, Tata Motors launched the upgraded version of Nano last month, equipping the car with a more powerful engine, better fuel efficiency and new features sans any hike in price.
Talking about the exercise, IHS Automotive India Head Deepesh Rathore, said: “Tata Motors, like any other car-maker, wants to ensure that its customers are satisfied with their product. So, they are willingly replacing the starters in all available Nanos in the market.”
However, industry players, who did not wish to be named, said Tata Motors had been facing issues with the Nano and its customers were not “so happy” with the performance of the car. Hence, the company is trying every possible way to satisfy its customers.
Earlier, market leader Maruti Suzuki India's recall of one lakh units of its A-Star hatchback in 2009 to replace a fuel pump gasket to check possible fuel leakage was the biggest.
In September, Honda Siel Cars India said it would call back 72,115 units of its flagship mid-sized City sedan to replace defective power window switches.
Last week, Toyota Kirloskar Motor announced the recall of 41,000 units of its Etios sedan and Liva small car in India to replace a faulty inlet pipe to the fuel tank.