Tata Motors on Friday claimed that its ‘people’s car’ was “absolutely safe”, saying a probe into fires that gutted a couple of brand new Nanos by an expert team found “no manufacturing defects”.
“We have concluded a comprehensive investigation into the incidents of fire in two Tata Nanos. The investigation, conducted by a 20-member Tata Motors Group team and an independent forensic expert, has reaffirmed that the Tata Nano is a safe car. “The investigations have also revealed that the incidents were not related,” a Tata Motors’ official said.
At the same time, the company offered to conduct pre-emptive checks on all Nanos on the road, starting May 24, but clarified that this was not a recall.
Recalling the incidents, the company said that the fire in March 2010, shortly after a customer took delivery of the car, may have been caused by a foreign object in the exhaust system that its expert team found.
In the other case that happened in April, it was concluded that the car that was being driven to the dealership caught fire possibly due to a ruptured fuel line.
Citing these findings, the official emphatically ruled out allusions that there were any manufacturing defects.
The probe team drew experts from across Tata Motors group, including the Nano project team, passenger and commercial vehicles businesses, the Engineering Research Centre, the Tata Motors European Technical Centre, and Jaguar Land Rover.
Besides, an independent forensic expert from the U.K. was part of the investigation, a company spokesperson said.
“It is important for us to reassure our customer base which is why we are planning to conduct a pre-emptive diagnostic check on all the cars with customers,” he said, emphasising that these inspections do not constitute a recall.
Delivery of Nanos began in July 2009 and since then, more than 30,000 cars have been sold in the country. The first composite plant for manufacturing Nano at Sanand in Gujarat is expected to be commissioned next month.
“The Tata Nano has undergone all the necessary validations before delivering to customers — this includes more than 300 prototypes which together covered more than 2 million km of safe operation in all conditions,” the company official said.
According to the spokesperson, “Each customer will be contacted personally for the check and we will be providing service free of cost, including additional protection, wherever required.”
Tata Motors is planning to roll out the initiative from May 24.