India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. on Wednesday said it has recalled 166 Dzire Tour S cars due to suspected defects in airbag control units (ACUs) of these vehicles.

The automaker says that the cars which are being recalled were manufactured between August 6, 2022 and August 16, 2022.

"The recall is being undertaken to replace Airbag Control Unit, free of cost, in these vehicles. It is suspected that there is a possible defect in Airbag Control Unit, which in rare case might result in malfunctioning during deployment," Maruti Suzuki says in a statement.

"Customers of suspected vehicles are advised not to drive/use the vehicle till the Airbag Control Unit is replaced," it adds.

Affected vehicle owners will be receiving communication from Maruti Suzuki authorised workshops for replacement of defective Airbag Control Unit, the carmaker says.

This comes weeks after Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said the government has decided to make a minimum of six airbags mandatory for cars even in economic models to enhance the safety of passengers.

"We have decided to make six airbags mandatory for cars. Some of the company people are constantly making opposition for that. We want to save the lives of the people and that is the reason we need cooperation from the stakeholders," Gadkari had said while addressing a conference in June.

India's largest carmaker produced 51,000 fewer vehicles in the first quarter due to the ongoing chip shortage. Owing to the semiconductor crisis, pending customer orders stood at about 280,000 vehicles at the end of the June quarter.

The company's operating profit in the quarter ended June was adversely impacted by the increase in prices of commodities due to the Russia-Ukraine war, forcing the carmaker to hike prices of vehicles to partially offset this impact.

Net profit of the country’s biggest car manufacturer zoomed 130% year-on-year to ₹1,012.80 crore in the April-June quarter compared with ₹440.80 crore in the corresponding period last year.

Maruti Suzuki clocked net sales of ₹25,286.3 crore in the April-June period, an increase of 50.52% compared to the year-ago quarter.

The company last week told Fortune India that the entry-level segment has faced short-term challenges due to a slew of macroeconomic factors, but with the economy slowly traversing on the path of recovery, the segment will bounce back.

"There were multiple challenges, including the sluggish growth of incomes of those buying entry-level cars; an increase in commodity prices; stringent emission and regulatory changes, and the premiumisation of vehicles with features and technologies, even if it’s not mandatory. This caused the segment to degrow because these factors took its toll on affordability," said Shashank Srivastava, senior executive officer, marketing and sales, MSIL.

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