Tata Nano in flames, Mumbai, India, from Indian Autos BlogEnlarge Photo
Following the continuing saga of the flaming Tatas, we now learn that Nano models built to date can be retrofitted with two items to reduce the risk of fires erupting inside or underneath the world's cheapest new car.
You may recall that concerns over flaming Tatas came to light last March, when five separate reports of spontaneously combusting Nanos reached the Indian press.
After a two-month investigation, Indian automaker Tata issued a statement saying that the Nano minicar was really very safe, and attributing the fires to two different and non-system causes.
2009 tata nano minicar 002Enlarge Photo
Now, however, Tata has made two design changes, though the company issued a press release stressing that while it would retrofit existing cars starting the third week of November--at the request of the owner--its actions did not constitute a recall.
In the latest Nanos, Tata has added one or more fuses in unspecified electrical circuits. It had previously changed suppliers for the car's combination switch, having determined that early supplies of that component had short-circuited.
It is also fitting a shield below the Nano's catalytic converter to prevent it setting dry grasses or other flammable materials on fire when the car parks over them. Such shields are standard practice on all North American vehicles.
Its release said Tata once again "reconfirms the robustness" of the basic Nano design. More than 70,000 Nanos have now been sold, and the company is expanding sales into additional regions of India.
Meanwhile, the company apparently wishes to reassure buyers that any risk of fires in or due to its cars will be eliminated.
Indeed, let us hope there are no more cases of flaming Tatas.
Because then--and only then--will the atrocious puns stop.