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Suzuki Alto recall tally rises to 13,000

Suzuki says the fix will take 30 minutes, and involve the replacement of the existing resistor.

Suzuki has recalled 13,216 Alto models from 2009 onwards for a heating system fault. The recall notice says the Alto’s heater blower motor may jam, causing the resistor fuse to overheat and cut out, preventing the heater from working.

Suzuki Australia initially announced 10,187 Altos sold from 2009 until now will be recalled. However, Suzuki Queensland operates as a separate entity, and has only joined the recall overnight, adding 3029 cars to the tally.

However not all the cars sold during that period – totalling 14,660 -- are affected, with 1444 being exempt from the recall. “It is only particular VIN (vehicle identification numbers) during that period, and we are in the process of identifying which ones,” Suzuki spokesman Andrew Ellis says. "The faulty resistors were in particular batches, while other batches were fine."

The defect is not considered to be a safety risk, and Suzuki says there have been no reports of related incidents, injuries or fires. “It’s a minor recall – the fault simply means you won’t have heating in the car.  There have been no reports of fires anywhere in the world,” Ellis says. "However, it's a safety recall because it can affect the demister, and visibility is a safety issue."

Suzuki says the fix will take 30 minutes, and involve the replacement of the existing resistor. “The parts are in transit now and the campaign is about to start in earnest,” Ellis says.