Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The World's cheapest car catching on fire - literally

The world's cheapest car, the Tata Nano, is in fire in India as reports emerge of some of the models bursting into flames in recent times due to alleged circuit problems.

Three fires have been reported suddenly occurring in the steering columns of Nanos in India, where 7,500 motor vehicles have been delivered since July.

No injuries have been reported but one customer has refused to allow Tata to inspect the car and instead filed a police report, as per the US financial newspaper The Wall Street Journal.

Tata announced October 26 that they will carry out a pre-delivery audit of all new cars and will observe cars already in customer use, but have avoided the dreaded "recall" word thus far. The Indian automaker blamed the crisis on a short circuit in the switch that controls the headlights, windshield wipers along with the dashboard indicators.

The little Nano is called "The People's Car" due to its historically little price of around Rs 115,000 (€1,700). The car has already received an overwhelming 200,000 pre-orders in India and has revolutionized the way the globe looks at low-priced automobiles.

Almost 100,000 Nanos are likely to be sold nationally in 2010, with export plans in place for Nigeria in 2010 and for Europe in 2011, provided it passes safety testing. In this July, Tata announced its intentions to put up for sale the Nano in Latin America, through Italy's Fiat group, which has a tough presence there.

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