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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Maruti recalls 100,000 A-Star

The country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India is recalling about one lakh units of its flagship export model 'A-Star' to replace a faulty fuel pump part. According to sources, the company is replacing a faulty rubber gasket in about one lakh cars -- manufactured before August 2009 and sold in domestic as well as overseas markets, to prevent any possible fuel leakage.

The problem was discovered in an internal survey by the company and no complaint has been received so far, they added.When contacted, a company spokesperson said: "At Maruti Suzuki, we constantly monitor quality of our products through feedback and internal analysis. In one such exercise in November, 2009, we came across an anomaly reported in the fuel tank in some of the vehicles and by December, 2009, we started contacting the customers through letters."

The company started replacing the gasket from December, 2009, and has so far changed the part in about 50,000 units.Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) had launched its fifth global model -- A-Star -- on November 19, 2008. The 998cc K10B petrol engined car is manufactured only in India at its Manesar facility.The recalled vehicles belong to a lot made till August 22 last year, the spokesperson said.

"No problem has been reported by customers. However, as a proactive step, we decided to check all vehicles from the lot, around one lakh units including those exported overseas. We are changing fuel pump gasket and 'O' ring at no cost to customer," he added. The final cost for this replacement would be shared with the supplier partner after completion of the entire exercise.

A-Star is currently exported to about 70 countries and is sold as Suzuki Alto in Europe, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Besides, some of the other major markets are Chile, Angola, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Algeria and UAE, where it is sold as Suzuki Celerio.

Japanese car major Nissan also sells A-Star in the European market under a contract manufacturing agreement with MSI's parent Suzuki. Nissan sells the model as Pixo.

In December last year, A-Star had crossed one lakh mark of overseas shipments in less than a year of selling the car in the global markets. It started the export of the car since January, 2009. The company is expecting to double its export this fiscal on the back of robust demand from A-Star, as against 70,023 units in 2008-09.

Last month, Japanese auto major Honda recalled 8,532 units of its sedan City in India due to defective power window switch as part of a global recall initiative. The company's Indian subsidiary, Honda Siel Cars India, would call back the lot of the 2nd Generation City, manufactured in 2007, for a preventive part replacement.

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