An internal probe carried out jointly by an independent forensic expert from the UK and an in-house technical investigative team on Friday cleared Tata Motors' ultra-low cost car Nano of any manufacturing defect.
A couple of incidents this year when brand new Nanos caught fire while being delivered from showrooms had owners worried, and fuelled the general impression of Tata's cars being unreliable. But the two incidents were clearly unrelated; and the probe results could help proud new owners breathe a sigh of relief. The investigation, conducted by a 20-member Tata Motors team, concluded that the Nano is safe and the recently-reported fire incidents were not related to any manufacturing defect.
The incidents also coincided with the mass recall of some models by global majors like Toyota and Honda. In yet another reassurance to its customers, Tata Motors has said it would conduct free checks on all Nanos on the road starting from 24 May. However, the company has ruled out a mass recall of the car.
According to a company spokesperson, ''Each customer will be contacted personally for the check and we will provide service free of cost, including additional protection, wherever required.''
Another company official added, ''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.''
In March 2010, a Nano car that had just been delivered to a customer caught fire. The Tata Motors' probe said the fire may have been due to a foreign object in the exhaust system. The team attributed a ruptured fuel line to another fire that broke out in a second car in April. The investigation report said the incidents in the two cars, which were being transported to or from dealers, were isolated and unrelated.