India's leading vehicle maker Tata Motors said on August 27 that another of its ultra-cheap Nano cars had caught fire and that the company was investigating the incident.
The fire was the latest of several involving the snubnosed hatchback -- billed as the world's cheapest car -- that was launched on Indian roads last year.
A Tata Motors spokesman said the incident occurred in New Delhi and the company was "conducting a probe." Despite the fires, the Nano was a safe car that had been rigorously tested, the spokesman said.
In May, Tata Motors began safety inspections of its Nano models, which range in price from 123,000 rupees (US$2,500) to 172,000 rupees. The company described the dealership checks at the time as a move "to allay owners' concerns" and not a recall.
Tata Motors ordered an internal investigation earlier this year after a Nano caught fire in Mumbai in March soon after being delivered to a customer.
In April another Nano caught fire as it was being delivered to a dealership in western Gujarat state.
The company blamed the fires on "isolated" and "unrelated" reasons.
Several other Nano owners complained of smoke in the car last year. The company attributed the problem to faulty ignition switches that had been resolved by switching suppliers.
The Nano, launched with great fanfare, is pitched at India's aspiring middle classes, many of whom currently use motorbikes but want to upgrade.
Tata Motors began deliveries of the Nano in July 2009 and there now are more than 45,000 Nanos on the roads.
Tata Motors has unveiled a European version of the Nano and is looking to sell the vehicle in the United States. Both models will have to be redesigned to meet higher safety standards.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010