• Oct 26th 2009 at 11:00AM
  • 27

Tata Nano – Click above for high-res image gallery

If we weren't car guys, we could understand the attraction of a bare-bones car with a sticker price coming in at a fraction of a conventional car's. Heck, we still do. But we know as well as you do that in order to get the pricing that low, corners probably have to be cut somewhere. And when you're dealing with a metal cage in which you sit surrounded by glass, propelled by a controlled series of explosions and managed by a complex mess of wires and electronics, you don't want to be cutting corners.

So we can't say we're entirely surprised with news of early problems with the Tata Nano. The vehicle that's anticipated to mobilize India has been launched in its domestic market prior to being exported overseas, but three customers have already reported small fires spontaneously igniting inside the vehicle, causing the automaker to launch an investigation.

The problem reportedly stems from faulty wiring in the ignition switch that has, in these three cases reported so far, caused smoke and certain parts around the steering column to melt. Two of the customers have returned their Nanos to their respective dealerships, which have repaired the problem at no charge. One buyer, however, has yet to bring his car in for repairs and has lodged a complaint with law enforcement officials.

So far, Tata isn't issuing a recall notice, but it is conducting a "pre-delivery audit" of the car's electrical systems for those still in their possession and offering to inspect those units it has already sold.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Still; I'd rather put up with electrical fires and own a RWD spare car than splurge on one Lexus with incorrect floormats.
      • 5 Years Ago
      A Cheapest Chinese car is much better than nano...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Enough Said :)

      October 13 2009
      Ford Fire Recall: Cruise Control Fires - Free Case Review
      October 2009 Update: Largest Single Recall in Ford History

      • 5 Years Ago
      flip em.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It sounds like an easy problem to fix. New products not just cars tend to have problems.
      Look at microsoft. They had so many problems with windows vista. They are replacing it with windows 7. I think that the Tata is a good idea. I would like the US cars industry to make something for the domestic market that is a basic car. It would need to be bigger and with some more power. They have everthing they need to do just that. Instead every time they redesign a model they make it bigger and heavier.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well all of us who work in the hi-tech industries know that issues come up in the real world which can never be simulated...so this really isn't such a big deal. It isn't as if the car is blowing up and killing a bunch of people
        • 5 Years Ago
        I work in the hi tech industry. In the high tech industry we have our little mottos like "If it's burning, that's a bad thing" and "Don't let the magic smoke out". And my favorite "If you've routed the primary circuit through the control wiring, and the ampacity of said circuit can't handle the juice, that bitch'll fry".

        But your right, not a problem, haven't killed anybody. Yet.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "...has lodged a complaint with law enforcement officials"

      Talk about the spread of American culture.
      • 5 Years Ago
      How to build a fire: 1. Grab steering column. 2.Turn repeatedly back and forth until smoke ensues. 3. Add electrical wires for kindling. 4. Locate fuel tank and open gas cap. 5. If still alive, repeat steps 1 to 4.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Perhaps buying leftover TI parts from Ford's? ; )
      • 5 Years Ago
      Tata is planning to recheck all its Nano before delivering them to customers.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The fire is just the built-in heater doing its job. Although, I don't know when you would ever need a heater in India.
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