Though Maruti Suzuki ultimately ended the day just about in the green, for most part of the day, it was very much in the red.
The reason? The company, yesterday announced its decision to recall 5900 units of its light commercial vehicle know as Super Carry as result of certain defect in the fuel pumps. This recall would also include vehicles in which fuel filter has been replaced in field during the above mentioned period. The recall activity was initiated by Maruti dealers from December 26 as owners of the suspected vehicles are being contacted by respective dealers for inspection and replacement of the faulty part free of cost.
A recall is so common today; right from BMW and Toyota to each and every reputed brand abroad, almost everyone has a history of recall. In fact, in 2018, you be shocked to know that the company topping the world list of recalls is Mercedes-Benz - it issued 33 recall notices in 2018, far more than any other car company. This was a long way ahead of rival brands Audi and BMW which were subject to 11 recalls each. Toyota, Mazda, Ford, Hyundai, each one of them had more recalls than previous year.
It is also not as though Maruti is the first to ever recall in India. If you jog your brain a bit, you will recollect that in 2016, Honda India issued a jaw dropping recall of over 1.9 lakh cars due to the faulty Takata airbags that continue to give nightmares to car makers around the world.
The same year also saw a recall from Honda City, Jazz and Civic – over 57,000 cars recalled.
Maruti itself has a history of recalls. In 2010, it recalled over 1 lakh A-Star hatchback cars for a fuel tank snag. In 2016, it recalled 75,419 units of Baleno 1,961 units of Dzire to upgrade the airbag controller software in the vehicle.
In fact car recalls, if anything, not just from Maruti but from others too has only been spiking. A phenomenon being witnessed world over.
So why is one in every four cars being made in India being recalled on account of some or the other manufacturing defect?
India does not have a mandatory recall policy, yet there are so many voluntary recalls. Those in the car business, dealers especially say that recalls have been happening all along but in those days, if any manufacturing issue was detected, the dealers were directed to run a service campaign wherein dealers would write to the customers and ask them to come for a service. Today, the dealers say, the exact same thing is termed as ‘recall.’
Manufacturers say that with thousands of components going into a car, increasing competition and inconsistency in the quality of inputs leads to recalls. When car makers push the auto component makers for lower prices so that they can keep a lid on their prices, the result is lower quality of component. Thus to keep ahead of competition by keeping prices low, auto makers compromise on quality, increasing the number of recalls.
At the end of it, it is these small auto component makers who bear the cost of the recall while the manufacturer bears the brunt at the service station. But when the auto component maker is small and the recall is huge, the small company could also go down or get into dire straits.
Well, the point of this story? To let you all know that recalls are not bad or mar the brand of the company. It is a common occurrence today, which is why, despite so many recalls, Maruti continues to remain the number one car seller in India. A recall is not a favor which the car maker is doing for the customers – unless he services the fault, he could go out of business; take the case of Nano – it did not recall voluntarily; it was forced to when occurrences of fire increased; that in many ways marked the death knell for the car.
Recall is not a bad word; it is more of a precaution, showing that the company is proactive and not reactive. Now that works in favour of the brand!