KATHMANDU: Thousands of automobiles from a particular lot are often recalled by manufacturing companies making headlines in the inter-national automotive news. However, though automobiles imported in Nepal are also from the same auto manufacturers, not a single recall has been heard of in the domestic market in its almost five-decade long history. Does this mean that the vehicles imported in this country are all perfect and without any defects or that the automobile customers here are simply ignored because of the small-size market?
Irrespective of the market size, the condition of vehicles being imported in the domestic market also have to be in perfect condition and problems should be addressed in case of any manufacturing defects. Automakers and dealers have to be accountable for the condition of the vehicles and cannot skip liability, no matter what the market size.
Primarily, auto recall is a request to
return to the automaker a batch or
an entire production run of a vehicle,
usually due to the discovery of safety
issues. The recall is an effort to limit
liability for corporate negligence and to improve or avoid damage to publicity. Recalls are costly to a company because they often entail replacing the recalled product or paying for damage caused
by use, although possibly less costly than consequential costs caused by damage to brand name and reduced trust in the manufacturer.
Of late, Ford Motor Co’s Indian unit
recalled over 128,000 units of Figo hatchback and Classic sedan models
because of potentially faulty parts which could result in breakdowns or even fires. The vehicles include both gasoline and diesel variants of the Classic manufactured between January 2008 and
December 2010 and those of the Figo made from March 2010 to December 2010 for a possible crack in the rear twist beam. It is also recalling petrol variants of Figo and Classic made between
September 2010 and February 2011
because of oil leaks from the power-steering hose. Some of the Ford cars imported in Nepal also fall under the same batches, so, GO Automobiles, the authorised distributor of Ford for Nepal, is also recalling those cars for inspection.
“We have started to inspect the cars that fall under these batches, which
accounts for around 150 units,” said Akash Golchha, executive director of GO Automobiles, adding that being a
responsible company they are proactive in loyalty towards their customers. According to him, all the vehicles identified with those faulty parts will be replaced free of cost. “Rather than a recall, we call it is field action service,” he added.
Most customers are unaware about recalls, due to which they mistake
manufacturing defects as problems solely affecting their car.
Nirakar Shrestha, managing director of Laxmi Intercontinental, sole authorised distributor of Hyundai said, “We haven’t experienced such case since the inception of our business,” adding that the recall is a liability of a responsible company towards its customers. When asked why there were no recalls for vehicles imported to Nepal, he said, “Maybe there was no previous practice of reporting the discovery of unusual problems
to the manufacturing companies, while now most dealers practice this.”
Meanwhile, Saurabh Jyoti, president of Nepal Automobile Dealers’ Association (NADA) said, “Auto recall is a global practice where manufacturing companies receive the feedback regarding
the problem(s) from the dealers and customers directly and resolve the
respective problem(s).” According to him, there have been very few recalls in the domestic market due its small size. Citing that they call it product update
instead of recall, Jyoti, also the direct-
or of Syakar Company, authorised
distributor of Honda Motors, said, “There has been around 100 units of product updates from Honda till date.”
PRAMOD KUMAR JAISWAL is the managing director of Mela Restaurant and Bar, Lainchour. Having been
involved in restaurant business for over two decades, Jaiswal is the vice
president (VP) of Restaurant and Bar
Association, Nepal. Also VP of Rotary Club of Baneshwor, Jaiswal shares his passion for cars with THT Auto Plus.
MY FIRST DRIVE
I first drove an American Chrysler Jeep.
MY CRUISING PARTNER
I own an Omni Maruti van. Its
impressive features are its eight-seater capacity, low maintenance and
HOW I MASTERED DRIVING
My passion for cars and my job
demanded I learn driving.
ABOUT MY MACHINE
I wish it had come with an inbuilt
MEMORABLE MOMENT WITH THE MACHINE
I had driven and learnt to handle a heavier jeep before I bought my Maruti van. Once, I forgot that this was a lighter vehicle and took a turn while in full-speed and the van was tilted on two wheels for few moments.
No matter how expert and
experienced we might be, we can never be sure of the other drivers on the road. You may get into trouble because
of others’ mistakes, so be alert and
do not lose your cool over others’
Periodic checkups, timely servicing and repair immediately if any problem arises and do not let little maintenance jobs pile up.
ADVICE FOR FELLOW DRIVERS
Let us all maintain traffic rules. Let us be patient at red signals and wait for
our turn. Smile at fellow drivers, be
courteous and considerate about little things while driving.
FOR TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT
Traffic police personnel are required to be polite and dutiful while checking
licence, blue book, drunk-driving, et cetera. But it can be done by keeping to the side and letting others pass. Most importantly, they should be practical.
MY DREAM CAR
American Chrysler Jeep is my dream car because of its sporty look. As I enjoy driving with family and friends, I prefer a minimum eight-seater vehicle.