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We appreciate your editorial “Driving to safety” (FE, August 27). However, we must point out that the parts used by car owners, as spare parts, are as critical for safety, performance and emission as the OE parts used to manufacture the cars. The OE parts undergo a strict homologation process by us before they are approved for use. Thereafter, parts received from vendors are subject to inspection and testing by us according to a system. Spare parts received from vendors are accepted subject to the same checking process as an OE part. The reason we want part manufacturers to sell their spare parts through Maruti is to ensure that this checking can be done and quality ensured. This would not be possible if the part manufacturers sold parts directly in the market. The consumer would have no way of knowing whether the part he buys has been certified by us or not, and would be at risk if the part did not conform. Who would be responsible if an accident happens?
The requirement that parts be sold through our dealers and authorised distributors is also to ensure that when a customer wants to buy a genuine part, he can be sure of that and not buy a spurious part in an identical packing. The customer has no way to identify a genuine part from a spurious part, as appearances are inadequate for this purpose. Our dealers risk losing their dealership if they are detected selling spurious parts and have much more to lose than the possible gain from selling spurious parts. They are thus very careful to sell only genuine parts. The spare parts dealers have nothing to lose and there is no way of ensuring that they sell only genuine parts.
The danger posed by spurious parts has been known to the government for decades and despite the best efforts, it has not been possible to eliminate this menace. The CCI’s advice to refer the matter to the government is not going to improve the situation.
In short, the system being followed for sale of spare parts is to ensure that customers can be assured of the genuineness of a part bought from Maruti dealers, and is essentially in the interests of their safety and the proper functioning of their vehicles. The directions of the CCI would vitiate this objective and put customers at risk.
The author is COO (M&S), Maruti Suzuki