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Regulatory recall of defective vehicles to attract penalty for manufacturers

NEW DELHI: Mandatory recall of defective vehicles or components will not only cost the manufacturers or importers as they will have to rectify or replace them, they will also face a risk of paying up to Rs 1 crore fine, according to a draft notification issued by the road transport ministry.
For example, recall of six lakh plus two-wheelers or one-lakh plus four wheelers will attract the maximum penalty of Rs 1 crore, as per the draft norms. If the manufacturer or importer identifies the defect and starts voluntary recall process, it won’t face any penalty.
Though the trigger point for regulatory recall is yet to be defined, sources said there will be two parameters. For high end or less manufactured or imported vehicles, complaints or reports of defects in “certain number of vehicles” will be the trigger point to initiate mandatory recall process.
For popular models where the number of vehicles produced is very high complaints equivalent to 10-12% of production would trigger authorities to initiate recall policy.
The ministry, in the draft norm, has defined the detailed process for investigation into complaints, designating authority who can order recall based on investigation report and suo motu as well. However, there will enough checks and balances including giving enough time to the manufacturer or importer to respond before any penal action or mandatory recall is ordered.
“Necessary precautions have been taken to ensure that rivals or competitors among industries can’t use mass compliant trick to target each other. All those lodging complaints will have to provide several details. The entire process will be online for greater transparency,” said an official.
The proposed norms also specify how the authorities and testing agencies would ensure that the manufacturers and importers of vehicle models or components are adhering to compliance of production (COP), which means the products are as per the approved prototype.

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