Boom Motors recalls Corbett ebikes, halts production after fatal accident

So far at least eight incidents of EV fires have been reported in just over a month’s time.

Boom Motors, the Coimbatore-based electric two-wheeler manufacturer is recalling its e-bike Corbett within days after a fatal accident. It also became the first e-two wheeler maker to halt production temporarily after the government order.

Meanwhile, taking a serious note of the fire incidents which have become recurrent since the onset of the summers, the government has come down heavily on the e-two wheeler manufacturers.

In a virtual meeting that were attended by over top 50 officials from representing various two-wheeler manufacturers, Giridhar Aramane, secretary, ministry of road transport and heavy industries (MoRTH) ordered asked manufacturers to quickly recall the faulty batches of vehicles on their own or be ready to face “serious consequences” for hiding any incident of fire or delay, according to a company official who attended the meet. 

During the half an hour-long meeting, Aramane quoted provision of the Motor Vehicle Act, which empowers the government to take strict action against manufacturers for causing harm to people and public property. He said “none will be spared” for compromising on passenger safety, said the official citing the secretary.

Boom will be the fourth company to recall its e-two wheeler model involved in fire incidents, after Okinawa, PureEV and Ola Electric. Gurugram-based Okinawa Autotech had recalled 3,215 vehicles and Hyderabad-based-Power Using Renewable Energy (PURE) EV another 2,000 early this month.

Later, Ola Electric recalled 1,441 S1 Pro scooters, in a specific batch. Last week, a 40-year-old man was killed and three others injured in Nizamabad after a fire incident in which a Boom Motors’ bike was involved.

All the EV manufacturers have been ordered to send the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and testing norms for quality check on batteries and other equipment in the next couple of weeks, in addition to stepping up focus on research and development.

In addition to small, marginal players who are operating with a minimal staff, the secretary also pulled up large scale manufacturers for taking “shortcuts” and rolling out “half-baked products” and then not being pro-active in recalling faulty vehicles.

If it doesn’t stop there will be a harsh punishment for those companies who fail to comply and the manufacturer concerned can even face permanent closure, Aramane warned the e-two wheeler makers.

The MoRTH secretary also suggested that the manufacturers that have seen fire incidents should refrain from new launches for the time being. He particularly emphasised that there shouldn’t be any repeat incidents.

So far at least eight incidents of EV fires have been reported in just over a month’s time. The first such incident happened in Vellore when a 49-year-old man and his daughter died after their electric scooter reportedly caught fire on March 25. The reported incidents included three Pure EV, two of Okinawa models, one from Ola, another from Boom Motors’ and around 20 involving models from Jitendra Electric Vehicles.

Meanwhile, the government is going to come up with CMVR (central motor vehicle regulation) standards for EVs, it will be notified in three months. The meeting was also attended by officials from Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) and CMVR.

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