Auto makers need to listen car owners for faulty new cars : Recall Policy

Hyundai Motor recalls cars over airbag problems in US. According to reports, Hyundai’s US dealers will recall 199,118 Santa Fe SUVs. In U.S., there is strong legislation that allow the government to punish auto makers in case of non-disclosure of car defects. But in India, there is still need of clear and strong recall policy.

There are many complaints from new car buyers and auto makers sometime do not accept faulty parts and avoid replacing it under warranty, that is what car owners claim. The government is planning a mandatory policy on car recalls as the auto industry seems reluctant to accept any penalty or make companies compulsorily announce defects in vehicles.

A meeting later this month, to be attended by ministries involving the auto sector, is likely to discuss a structured, and statutory, policy for car recalls.

Sources said the government would oppose the guidelines which the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers is set to unveil on Monday. SIAM’s guidelines do not impose penalties and merely “expect” the car maker to declare defects. “The move will serve no purpose as companies are not open to admitting faults when it is based on self-regulation,” an official said.

The government is planning a mandatory policy on car recalls as the auto industry seems reluctant to accept any penalty or make companies compulsorily announce defects in vehicles.

A meeting later this month, to be attended by ministries involving the auto sector, is likely to discuss a structured, and statutory, policy for car recalls.

Sources said the government would oppose the guidelines which the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers is set to unveil on Monday. SIAM’s guidelines do not impose penalties and merely “expect” the car maker to declare defects. “The move will serve no purpose as companies are not open to admitting faults when it is based on self-regulation,” an official said.

The proposed code requires members to contact customers who have bought a vehicle with a faulty auto part. The code also makes it a vehicle maker’s responsibility to replace faulty parts at its own cost.

But the code is not a replacement for a national law. It doesn’t impose financial penalties on auto makers for failing to own up to and refund faulty parts, as a law could. Some laws, like those in the U.S., even fine companies that do own up to and replace parts.

S. Sandilya, president of automobile manufacturers’ society, says he’s against the government mandating penalties through law as vehicle makers already are committed to high standards and will pay for replacements. “Auto makers already pay out of their profits for replacing faulty auto parts. That in itself is a big penalty,” Mr. Sandilya said. “No company will produce a product that jeopardizes safety of its customers or its own reputation.”

But what if auto makers refuse to stick by the voluntary code or what if they don’t act at all even when faced with clear evidence of a faulty component?

What India needs, in this case, is strong legislation like in the U.S., that would allow the government to punish auto makers.

Source:

Government revs up for car-recall policy

Hyundai Motor recalls cars over airbag problems in US

Good fuel saving practices for car owners

Most car owners do not exercise fuel saving practices as expected of them. Proven fuel saving tips can help you run your car on lesser fuel. Saving fuel means making a good saving on your hard earned money besides helping the earth stay green. In this regard, I can share with you a few good practices that you might implement to save fuel while you drive your car.

Minimize the use of clutch while driving the car. Use clutch while standing still or while changing gears alone. Most people do not have the habit of switching off the engines while waiting at signals. Experts state that on an average, the amount of fuel consumed by cars while starting the engine is not more than that spent on three seconds of idling. Therefore, keeping the engines on for longer times is a mere waste.

Always drive in the gear appropriate to the car’s speed. This means not raising while your car is on lower gears and not crawling while it is on higher gears. Ensure proper servicing of your cars at regular intervals to set right any glitches from time to time so that fuel consumption is minimized. Also, engines are found to consume up to 50% more fuels under poorly maintained and poorly tuned conditions. Driving your car at 90kmph than 100kmph will bring down fuel consumption by 10%.

Fuel consumption is inversely proportionate to the tire pressure. Properly inflated tires will mean that your car is running on lesser fuel. More weight means more fuel. If the carrier is not in use, detach it and save fuel. Be cautious and avoid abrupt stops and sudden brakes to save fuel. Make proper use of your steering wheel. Every unnecessary turn of your steering will increase the distance you travel meaning wastage of fuel. Though this wastage will appear insignificant, on a longer run, you will find an enormous saving.

Increase your braking distance by making use of the rolling resistance to stop your car rather than relying more on brakes. Accelerate your car slowly on slippery or gravel roads. These practices will again save more fuel. Regular change of spark plugs will enhance engine efficiency. In this way, some proven fuel saving practices will help you run your car on lesser fuel thereby making a good saving of your hard earned money.
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About the author:

Vivek is a mechanical engineer and has more than 7 years of experience as a writer. He blogs about various topics; entrepreneurship being one. His interests range from poetry, music to photography and travel. He can be reached at sdkrdk@gmail.com

Your car is worth millions–keep it clean.

Though we have not been meeting for some years, Harshendu Bhardwaj, one of my close friends was in fact sharing all that was happening at his side over phone. When he visited me recently, I was quite surprised to see him drive a silver colour Porsche car with all its shine. This was because he never told me that he had purchased a new car recently. On enquiry, Bhardwaj told me it was Ford Fiesta 1.4 Duratec EXI of 2008 make and that he bought it in the same year during its release in the market. I could not but help than being amazed at the way he was maintaining his car for over three years with a brand new look. My conversation with Bhardwaj revealed me more than shelling out a huge amount and buying a Porsche car all that is required by the owners is to maintain it through proper care, cleaning and servicing.

Bhardwaj said, “My car is worth millions and it is my primary duty to care for it by all means.” During my interaction with Bhardwaj over the next two hours, I could gather some useful tips on car cleaning. Bhardwaj added to my surprise when he said he was not using costly car cleaning products to maintain his car.

While baby wipes are the best to use on your dashboards, soft paint brushes can reach into all the groves. Cuticle removers can wipe off any stains on the leather that is otherwise hard to remove. Apply some cuticle remover over the stains for about ten minutes and wipe it off to get a stain free leather surface in the morning.

Wet a rag or cloth with concentrated white vinegar and run it down on the full length of your windshield to get a crystal clear view through it. Spray some WD-40 on your rusting name plate and wipe it with a clean cloth. There can be no better handy mitt than an old soft sock to buff the wax accumulated on your car.

I think I have left you with a few useful tips got from Bhardwaj that can help you retain the brand new shiny look for a long time on your car. But, don’t forget that the most important thing is to cherish the habit of a regular cleaning of your car without waiting for too long.

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About the author:

Vivek is a mechanical engineer and has more than 7 years of experience as a writer. He blogs about various topics; entrepreneurship being one. His interests range from poetry, music to photography and travel. He can be reached at sdkrdk@gmail.com

Go the Extra Mile with your Car

Car manufacturers guide you with car servicing only for a period of 30,000 miles to 100,000 miles depending on the brand and the extent of the warranty period. Most often, the manufacturers might give you a periodical free service a few times. Most problems in cars occur only after this time, since by then various parts of your vehicle might have undergone wear and tear. Therefore, as a car owner, you need to exercise a good amount of care to ensure a long life for the car and its vital parts.

As a car owner, the best thing you need to do is to find a mechanic or service center who will periodically guide you with your car service needs. It will be very convenient if the service center occurs in midway between the regular route you often travel so that you need not make a separate visit to the mechanic at times of need. This will also ensure that you remember to service your car from time to time.

It goes without saying that besides regular maintenance of the vital parts, you should not neglect minor problems which might worsen if not attended ending up with a big bill.

Most cars are designed these days to run up to 500,000 miles. However, most people do not keep their cars for this long. However, if a proper car care is ensured, you can easily reach this mileage without having to change your car for a new one. In car maintenance, you can always remember the quote, “Trifles make perfection, but perfection is not a trifle.”

Little care on a regular basis can help your cars run the extra miles that others have not been able to cover. With a proper care, you have every reason to feel proud about your car and make others feel jealous about the condition of your car. While old cars can shine and run well with proper maintenance, even new cars can turn you down, if not properly attended to.

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About the author:

Vivek is a mechanical engineer and has more than 7 years of experience as a writer. He blogs about various topics; entrepreneurship being one. His interests range from poetry, music to photography and travel. He can be reached at sdkrdk@gmail.com

The after sales service the primary reason for car owner satisfaction (Survey)

In the recent survey, Maruti wins over customer satisfaction in a survey by TNS Automotive, but Maruti owners expect better car servicing even if there is a good network of car service stations in India.

The owners of Tata Nano expect more in terms of design and Maruti 800 owners expect better servicing as the years go by.

Apart from after sales service, the customer evaluations were taken in the key areas of sales satisfaction, product quality, vehicle performance and design, brand image, and cost-of-ownership.

Car owners in Northern India are relatively less satisfied compared to those in other parts of the country. The after sales service seems to be the primary reason particularly as the age of the car grows. At the national level, the customers in the relatively larger cities are more satisfied than those in the smaller cities. This may be a reflection of the growing expectations in the smaller cities. The manufacturers will do well to understand those. The customer expectations even at the bottom end are rising.

Due to the high growth, there was also a pressure on the supply of components and the workshop capacities.

According to Auto Serve 2010 Report, spare parts and components demands are increasing. The demand for parts and services set to double over the next 5 years. Roughly, 30 per cent of the market comprises spurious parts. Market interviews and analysis indicate that owners of older vehicles often migrate to independent service networks for cheaper and faster service. With OEMs more focused on vehicles in their warranty period, offering higher levels of service for older cars will be necessary for independent players to attract customers.

According to current scenario, customer satisfaction depends on quality of car servicing. There is a need of good car workshops which has trained car mechanics and has follow good processes for customer satisfaction.

Source:
http://www.tnsglobal.com/news/news-B617D2D0071A4CE195B138D70676706D.aspx