Maruti Suzuki has been served a Rs 71 crore show-cause notice by the directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI) and customs authorities over its Smart Hybrid tech. This is in the culmination of an investigation begun in 2019; authorities claim Maruti Suzuki’s mild-hybrid system doesn’t qualify for the lower customs duties hybrids enjoy.
This is about a 2017 ruling that specifies customs duty exemption for technology used to manufacture hybrid cars. These cars were defined as those using a combination of a battery-electric motor and an internal combustion engine to power the vehicle on the move.
The agencies claim that the alternator-generator used in Maruti Suzuki’s earlier SHVS technology doesn’t qualify under this category, given that it only provides start-stop functionality while stationary. It is still not known if the second-gen SHVS introduced with the 1.5-liter petrol engines are also disputed, given Maruti Suzuki says these units also offer torque-fill and brake energy recuperation.
Authorities have accused Maruti Suzuki of claiming benefits on importing a simple alternator and declaring it as a hybrid vehicle componentry after software tweaks. The firm is facing another notice on the matter worth an additional Rs 70 crore, although a formal notice in this regard hasn’t been issued. The SHVS tech is fitted to cars like the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, Ertiga, XL6, S-Cross and Vitara Brezza.