The government has ordered an independent enquiry into a Nexon electric vehicle catching fire in Mumbai, a senior Road Transport and Highways ministry official said on Thursday.
“We have ordered an independent enquiry to investigate the Nexon EV fire incident,” the official told PTI. The Centre for Fire Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES), Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and Naval Science & Technological Laboratory (NSTL), Visakhapatnam have been asked to probe the circumstances that led to the incident and also suggest remedial measures, the official added.
Responding to the incident that has been widely shared on social media, Tata Motors in a statement on Thursday said, “A detailed investigation is currently being conducted to ascertain the facts of the recent isolated thermal incident that is doing the rounds on social media.” Further, it said, “We will share a detailed response after our complete investigation. We remain committed to the safety of our vehicles and their users.”
The company asserted, “This is a first incident after more than 30,000 EVs have cumulatively covered over 100 million km across the country in nearly 4 years.” In the electric two-wheeler segment there have been many incidents of vehicles catching fire in the recent past. Electric two-wheeler makers such as Ola Electric, Okinawa Autotech and PureEV had recalled their scooters in the wake of separate fire incidents.
The fire incidents had prompted the government to form a panel to examine and had warned companies of penalties if they were found to be negligent.
The government-appointed panel is expected to submit its report on electric two-wheeler fire incidents this month, according to a road ministry official.
Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari had recently said companies found negligent will be penalised and a recall of all defective vehicles will be ordered after the expert panel submits its report.
The government had earlier ordered a probe in April after an e-scooter launched by ride-hailing operator Ola’s electric mobility arm engulfed in fire in Pune.
The Centre for Fire Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES) had been asked to probe the circumstances that led to the incident and also suggest remedial measures, according to the road transport ministry.