New Delhi, Nov 10 : Tata Motors today said it would ask Nano customers to bring back their cars to add safety devices free of cost to prevent the vehicles from catching fire, but insisted it was not a ’’recall.’’
The company, however, said that the addition of safety devices, a lesson learnt from some of its brand new Nanos catching fire, was optional.
After these incidents, Tatas had engaged experts to get into the details for the cause of the mishaps, and its internal report had said that there was no manufacturing defect.
"We would be informing the customers that these are the additional protection we are willing to provide.
"We are quite convinced that Nano is safe, based on our investigations. However, we feel that probably there may be some extraneous circumstances where people may want additional protection," Tata Motors Managing Director (India Operations) P M Telang told PTI.
The safety move, incidentally, made public within days of the world’s cheapest car, priced at USD 2,500, was showcased to the US President Barack Obama and the First Lady Michelle Obama.
Asked if the cars were being recalled because of the concern about the safety of vehicles, he said: "Just to clarify that this is not a recall...It is just to make the Nano more robust."
As part of the safety mechanism, the company would offer a tool to cover the catalytic converter to prevent the car from catching fire. It will also install fuse in electrical components to avoid short circuits.
"We are willing to move forward to addition of safety tools like putting those converters or catalytic converters and so on. For this, we will be informing the customers and if they want, this will be done."He said in another three to four weeks time the company would be informing all the Nano customers.
As of now, around 70,000 Nanos are on the roads.Yesterday, Tata Motors Group CEO and Managing Director Carl-Peter Forster had said that the auto maker planned to introduce additional safety features in the small car in the wake of reports of the car catching fire.
"The company has taken up several corrective measures and will now offer cover tool on catalytic converter to prevent the car from catching fire. It will also install fuse in electrical components to avoid short circuits," he had said.
In August, a sixth incident of a Nano catching fire since the car was commercially launched in March 2009, was reported from the National Capital, three months after a company probe declared the car was "absolutely safe".
The five previous incidents were reported from across the country, including Mumbai, Lucknow, Delhi and near Vadodara in Gujarat.