Nearly 3 lakh cars, SUVs recalled in India in 2023

Skoda Auto Volkswagen India issued a recall for 60,464 units of the Polo, Vento, Passat, Caravelle, Multivan and Transporter in 2023.

Passenger vehicle and two-wheeler segments in India had a good run last year, with sales climbing to a new high of 41 lakh units and 17 lakh units, respectively. Annual production numbers for these two segments were also on the higher side: PVs at 47,83,628 units (up 8 percent) and two wheelers at 2,71,43,580 was up 5 percent.

As per official data published by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) in 2023, a total of 2,84,906 vehicles were recalled by their manufacturers. They involved three motorcycle manufacturers (Honda, Suzuki and Triumph) and five carmakers (Maruti Suzuki, Mercedes-Benz, Skoda Auto Volkswagen, Skoda India and Toyota) who recalled 1,22,068 bikes and 1,62,838 vehicles, respectively.

Honda recalled maximum units

Volume-wise, the largest vehicle recall in India last year was Honda’s – 77,012 units of the CB350 RS and H’ness CB350 DLX 1 and DLX  2 motorcycles, manufactured between October 10, 2020 and January 18, 2023. The reason cited was: “An improper process being followed to manufacture the rubber parts of the tail-light may lead to the development of a crack, causing water entry and corrosion.”

Skoda Auto Volkswagen recalled over 60,000 cars

The second largest was Skoda Auto Volkswagen India, with a recall of 60,464 Volkswagen four-wheelers manufactured between 2007-2014. The reason cited was: “On Volkswagen models (Polo, Vento, Passat, Caravelle, Multivan and Transporter) manufactured between 2007 and 2014, with Takata front airbags, its housing may get damaged and injure the occupants.”

Maruti Suzuki issued three recalls in 2023

Maruti Suzuki effected three separate recalls for 35,752 units. The first was on January 17 for 17,362 petrol/CNG variants of the Alto K10, S Presso, Eeco, Brezza, Baleno and Grand Vitara to check for “a possible defect of the airbag controller, which in rare cases, might result in non-deployment of the airbags and seat belt pretensioners in the event of a crash.”

The second recall was six days later for 11,177 petrol-engined Grand Vitara SUVs to check the likelihood of “a possible defect in rear seatbelt mounting brackets, which may loosen and impact its functionality.” And on April 21, the company recalled 7,213 Baleno RS hatchbacks for a possible defect in the vacuum pump that assists the brake function. In rare cases, the affected vehicle may require increased effort in brake pedal application.

Toyota also issued three recalls

Toyota Kirloskar Motor recalled 5,968 units last year in three separate instances, all of them in January, involving the Urban Cruiser Hyryder SUV and the Glanza hatchback.

Luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz India, in 25 separate instances between January 10 and December 15, 2023 accounted for a total of 31,200 units.

Over 53 lakh vehicles recalled in India since July 2012

Post SIAM's Code of Voluntary Recall came into effect in July 2012, a total of 53,51,935 vehicles have been recalled in India (see data table above).

A total of 23 manufacturers – 16 carmakers and seven two-wheeler makers – make up this list of recalls over the past 10 years comprising 39,09,465 cars and SUVs (73 percent of total recalls) with bikes making up 27 percent of the recalls at 14,42,470 units.

While SIAM paved the way to a structured vehicle recall exercise in India, the operation got another boost in April 2021 with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) mandating stiff fines effective April 1, 2021, on vehicle manufacturers.

Also see:

Road accidents claimed 19 lives every hour in India last year: MoRTH

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