The policy, mandating the recall of defective vehicles, will come into effect from April 1, 2021.

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Money Automobiles Wednesday, March 17, 2021 - 19:39

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has notified the new vehicle recall policy under which the government can impose a penalty of up to Rs 1 crore on vehicle manufacturers while mandating recall of defective vehicles. The policy will come into effect from April 1, 2021. 

“It is notified that, where the minimum number of complaints for a particular category of vehicle against total sales of the model is received on vehicle recall portal, mandatory recall is initiated,” the Ministry said in a notification. 

As per the policy, the government can impose a penalty of up to Rs 10 lakh, Rs 20 lakh, Rs 50 lakh or Rs 100 lakh depending on the number and type of vehicles, including two-wheelers, three-wheelers, four-wheelers that have to be recalled. The vehicle manufacturer will have to pay this amount to the government for each batch of defective vehicles. 

A draft notification for vehicle recall policy was issued by the Ministry last year. Customers will be able to lodge complaints pertaining to various issues on a portal which will come up soon for such vehicle recalls.  

India currently follows a voluntary vehicle recall policy. 

As per the new rules, each type of vehicle will have to be tested by the vehicle manufacturer or importer. If the government finds that the vehicle is not up to scratch as per the tested standards, it can issue a recall notice to the manufacturer or importer of the vehicle. In each case where the government orders a mandatory recall, it will have to inform the users of such vehicles concerning the risks involved and the reason for the recall. 

The vehicle manufacturer will initiate the recall process if it concurs with the problems identified and will intimate consumers and rectify the problem. Any costs involved in fixing the vehicle will have to be borne by the vehicle maker. 

In case the vehicle maker does not agree with the government’s decision, it can appeal in the High Court.  

“After sending the final notice to customers, vehicle manufacturers, importer or retrofitter, may monitor such cases through their database or authorised dealer network and address them as and when reported for rectification,” the Ministry notification added.  

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