INDIA: Tata to inspect all Nanos following fires
Tata Motors is vehemently denying it is to recall its Nano model following a spate of combustion incidents.
Two vehicles caught fire earlier this year, while several similar events apparently also occurred in 2009, leading to a root and branch investigation by the Indian manufacturer.
A 20-strong internal team and what Tata refereed to as an "independent forensic expert" have examined the situation and maintained the fires were "isolated incidents" and that the Nano was safe.
The Mumbai company also moved quickly to quash any speculation it was about to recall the Nano, which has gained extensive publicity as being one of the cheapest cars in the world to buy.
"Nano is not being recalled, it is completely incorrect," a Tata spokesman in Mumbai told just-auto.
"This is not a recall, we have categorically said it. We don't think it will affect our sales in the future."
Despite robustly contesting it was in the process of recalling the Nano, the automaker nonetheless confirmed it would liaise with customers to inspect all vehicles and offer "additional protection" although it is unclear at this stage what that will entail.
"The company has decided it will allay any concerns by owners by inspecting all cars with customers and, where necessary, add additional protection to ensure the car's safety," said a Tata statement.
"Each owner will be individually contacted over the next few weeks to fix appointments for such inspections. These inspections would be provided free of cost to the customers. These inspections do not constitute a recall."
Tata did confirm that in March and around one-and-a-half hours following delivery to a customer, a "foreign object on a hot exhaust system" was found, which "most probably" led to combustion.
It also noted the second incident found evidence of a ruptured fuel line.
"The investigators' conclusion that the Tata Nano is safe and robust is also visible in the problem free driving experience of thousands of owners since deliveries from July 2009," insisted Tata.
Before launch, the Nano was developed using over 300 prototypes.