India's largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) on Wednesday recalled 17,362 vehicles due to a possible defect in the airbag controller in these cars.
Vehicles manufactured between December 8, 2022 and January 12, 2023 have been recalled, the company says in a regulatory filing. The affected models are Alto K10, S-Presso, Eeco, Brezza, Baleno and Grand Vitara.
The recall is being undertaken to inspect and replace airbags, if required, in these vehicles. "It is suspected that there is a possible defect in affected part, which in rare case might result in non-deployment of the airbags and seat belt pretensioners, in the event of a vehicle crash," Maruti Suzuki says in a statement.
"Out of abundant caution, customers of the suspected vehicles are advised not to drive or use the vehicle till the affected part is replaced. Affected vehicle owners will be receiving communication from Maruti Suzuki authorized workshops for immediate attention," the statement adds.
The recall comes weeks after the company fared poorly at the Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP) crash tests. Its three models – Swift, Ignis and S-Presso – bagged one star each in the adult occupant protection category at the Global NCAP crash tests. While Maruti's popular hatchback model Swift secured one star for child occupant protection, Maruti Suzuki S-Presso and Ignis scored zero stars for child occupant protection.
The government had last year extended the deadline for mandatory implementation of six airbags in passenger cars to October 1, 2023. According to ratings agency ICRA, the airbag industry is currently the fastest-growing sector in the auto-component segments, and is expected to benefit from the increase in content per vehicle arising from higher regulatory requirements and voluntary increase in the number of airbags per vehicle for enhancing safety. ICRA expects the industry to grow to ₹6,000-7,000 crore by FY2027—from the current levels of ₹2,400-2,500 crore, at a four-year CAGR of 25-30%.
Earlier this week, Maruti Suzuki raised vehicle prices across its models by around 1.1% to offset rising input costs. India's biggest passenger vehicle manufacturer sold a total of 1,39,347 units in December 2022, a 9% decline from 1,53,149 vehicles sold in December 2021.
At the Auto Expo 2023, Maruti Suzuki unveiled two new SUVs — Jimny, Fronx — to strengthen its SUV line-up. While the much-awaited off-roader Jimny will take on rival Mahindra Thar, the sporty compact SUV Fronx aims to introduce a new design trend in the country’s rapidly growing SUV segment. The Jimny (5-door) will be introduced in India first, followed by Suzuki’s global markets.