An internal probe, jointly done by an independent forensic expert from the UK and a technical investigative team, on Friday cleared Tata Motors’ Nano of any manufacturing defect. The investigation, conducted by a 20-member Tata Motors’ team, concluded that the Nano is safe. The fire incidents were not related to any manufacturing defect.
The probe will send a breather to all of Nano’s customers who had been caught off guard with a couple of unrelated incidents early this year that had also coincided with the mass recall of some cars by global majors like Toyota and Honda.
In March 2010, a Nano car that had just been delivered to a customer caught fire. The probe said the fire may have been due to a foreign object in the exhaust system. A ruptured fuel line was the cause for fire that broke out in the second Nano. The investigation reports said the incidents related to the two cars, were isolated and unrelated.
The Rs 100,000-Nano took a hit when images of two burning Nanos were splashed across newspapers. Tata Motors has also offered to conduct pre-emptive checks on all Nanos on the road, starting from May 24.
The company, however, clarified that this was not a recall. Each customer will be contacted personally for the check and we will provide service free of cost, including additional protection, wherever required.
The delivery of Nanos began in July 2009, and since then, more than 30,000 cars have been sold in the country. The mother plant for manufacturing the Nano, at Sanand in Gujarat, is expected to be commissioned in the first week of June, which will take the total capacity to 2.5 lakh units.
“The Tata Nano has undergone all necessary validations before being delivered to customers and this includes more than 300 prototypes which together covered more than 2 million km of safe operation in all conditions,” said a company official. Meanwhile, dealers said the firing incidents have not impacted demand for the car.