Suzuki halts sales of new model over braking issue

The Suzuki Celerio is marketed internationally as the Alto.

Japanese automaker Suzuki has halted sales and issued a recall order for its Celerio hatchback city car, just days after it went on sale in the United Kingdom. The announcement came after two cars suffered total brake failure during deceleration tests carried out by British magazines Autocar and What Car? The company initially suspended sales in the UK, where only about 100 units had shipped, before extending the order to Australia, Ireland and New Zealand.

The cause of the failure has not yet been determined. While the investigation lasts, Suzuki has advised Celerio owners not to drive their vehicles and is providing them with courtesy cars. The failure occurred during a high-speed deceleration test at speeds close to 80 miles per hour. The brake pedal became stuck in the depressed position and did not slow the vehicle. Forcing it up and applying it again had no effect.

In Ireland, as in the UK, the Celerio has only been on sale for about two weeks, and some 40 units have been sold. In Australia and New Zealand, however, the car has been available since last year, and the number of vehicles that will have to be recalled is much higher.

"With immediate effect, Suzuki is recalling its UK Celerio models that went on official sale to the public on February 1," said the company in a statement. "This safety recall relates to retraction of the brake pedal and affects right hand drive vehicles for UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. It does not affect left hand drive vehicles or other right hand drive markets."

Emergency deceleration tests are essential to assess a vehicle's safety. Greening provides leading automakers around the globe with state-of-the-art equipment to ensure that their components are of the highest quality.