A car is “recalled” when, in the opinion of the manufacturer, importer, or retrofitter, it is not sufficiently safe for road use and has some issues, defined as “defects” under rule 127C of the Vehicle Recall Policy. Such cars require to be inspected and and the flaw rectified by the manufacturer or importer.
Most of the recalls in the recent past have been over faulty airbags. However, a vehicle can also be taken off for all other kinds of other safety-related reasons, from minor technical glitches such as faulty windscreen wipers to major electrical problems that may cause the car to catch fire.
What is a “defect” under India’s Vehicle Recall Policy?
According to the Government of India’s Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, a “defect” refers to a fault in any vehicle or component or software that poses, or is likely to pose, undue risk to road safety or the environment. Such a defect usually exists in a group of vehicles of the same design or manufacture, or items of equipment of the same type and manufacture, and which originated at the design, manufacturing, or assembly stage.
Likewise, a “defective vehicle” means a motor vehicle that contains a constituent part or software that may not be functional.
A defective vehicle falls within the scope of sub-section (1) of section 110A of the Motor Vehicle Act.
Should you worry about your car being recalled?
A car recall isn’t usually a matter of great concern, and just means that the car maker is being proactive in fixing a potential safety risk.
However, in instances such as dashboard fire recall, you will be informed about the cause for concern in a notice. In such cases, the recall notice would mention the potential risk, if any, in using the car. Under rare circumstances, the recall notice would ask you not to drive the car until the defect is fixed.
Do you think that your car is affected but didn’t receive a recall notice? Here’s what to do:
The company tries to reach out to as many users of the affected vehicles as possible by post and also informs the media of the same to create awareness.
If you come across such a notification and believe that your car has also been affected, you can either contact the number provided in the public notice, or you can directly reach company’s service department to check if your car needs remedial work.
According to the vahan.parivahan portal of the ministry, anyone whose vehicle is within seven years from the date of manufacture/import/retrofit, has his/her mobile number registered in Vahan, and who reasonably believes that his vehicle has a safety or environment-related defect, can register a complaint on the vehicle recall portal.
Does the recall guarantee vehicle replacement?
No, a recall does not guarantee vehicle replacement. However, the defects would be fixed.
Are vehicle recall repairs free?
The required information is usually communicated by the manufacturer from time to time.
Generally, the cost of the recall repair is covered by the car company. But if the service department discovers another issue with your car while working on it, and has informed you about it, you will have to pay for such additional rectification.
Will a recall affect the value of the car?
No, it wont’t unless there is bad publicity associated with the particular model.
However, if there’s an outstanding recall of your car, then it will affect its value.