Maruti shares fall, Suzuki says emission issue limited to Japan


New Delhi: Japanese automaker Suzuki Motor Corp. on Wednesday said that it has not found manipulation of fuel efficiency in its internal investigation but admitted to have found “some discrepancies” in the automobile emission and fuel efficiency testing process between the Japanese regulation and the actual method carried out by Suzuki.

“We would like to express our deep apologies to all our customers and stakeholders on this issue… The above issues do not apply to products sold under Suzuki badge outside Japan,” Suzuki said in a statement.

This means cars sold in India will not come under the purview of any discrepancy on the issue.

Rashmi Urdhwareshe, director, Automotive Research Association of India, said that her agency will not seek clarifications from Maruti Suzuki on the mileage issue.

“We will await their response for the Indian market. These are regulatory matters. We will wait for their communication,” Urdhwareshe said.

The models that are affected in Japan include Alto, Alto Lapin, Wagon R, Hustler, Spacia, Every, Carry, Jimny, Solio, Ignis, Baleno, S-Cross, Swift, Escudo 2.4, Escudo and Jimny Sierra.

Shares of Maruti Suzuki fell 0.81% to Rs.3,917 on BSE at the close, while the benchmark Sensex lost 0.27% to 25,704.61 points.

Maruti’s shares had opened weaker on Wednesday morning after the company’s Celerio hatchback and Eeco vans failed crash-tests done by Global New Car Assessment Programme.

To be sure, India does not have regulations to check fuel efficiency or mileage claims. It also does not have crash-testing norms for cars. However, the government has put in place a norm that requires the industry to ensure that the mileage of cars on Indian roads improves by 10% by 2021. The second phase, for which the government has not specified a deadline, will begin from 2022 and targets a fuel efficiency improvement by 30%. Once implemented, it is likely to reduce the carbon footprint of the automobile industry. It is the first time that such norms have been introduced.

Failure to comply will invite a penalty. Under the Energy Conservation Act, 2001, car makers that fail to meet carbon emission norms will be fined Rs.10 lakh initially and asked to pay a penalty of Rs.10,000 a day till their car models meet the norms.

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, a unit of the Japanese automaker and India’s largest car maker, claims to offer best-in-class mileage for all its models, which is one of the primary reasons for its success in the Indian market.