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 |  Dec 27 2011, 12:00 PM

The Tata Nano was supposed to be a cheap, simple car built for the people, but so far it has caused nothing but problems for the Indian automaker.

First it was an electrical issue that caused the Nano to catch fire which was the catalyst for a recall of 70,000 Nano’s. Now a faulty starter motor that the manufacturer says needs to be replaced is plauging the Nano.

Tata says that this recall is not actually a recall at all, as it was not spurred by customer complaints, but rather by Tata engineers designing a better starter which they feel all early model Nano’s should utilize. The recall will affect over 140,000 vehicles and is the largest recall in Tata’s history.

 |  Nov 22 2011, 7:00 AM

The world’s cheapest vehicle has just gotten a whole lot (little bit?) better, with Tata announcing a batch of upgrades for their economical Nano. The 624-cc engine now makes a ferocious 37.5-hp, giving it a max speed of 65-mph.

In addition to the performance increase, the Nano also got its suspension reworked which included a new anti-roll bar in the front and a redesigned steering mechanism. The biggest improvement though is that the Nano Standard now comes with power-assisted brakes. Prior to this refresh, power-assisted brakes were only offered on some of Nano’s more luxurious models.

On the inside, buyers have a trio of colors to choose from for interior trim – beige, black and gray while the exterior colors have expanded to a portfolio of 10 choices. Those 10 colors are worth mentioning just for their names: Pearl White, Rouge Red, Aqua Blue, Neon Rush, Serene White, Meteor Silver, Mojito Green, Papaya Orange, Sunshine Yellow and Champagne Gold.

Hopefully these will help increase Tata’s Nano sales. They originally projected (or rather, hoped) to sell around 20,000 to 25,000 vehicles a month but saw only 1,200 leave dealer lots in September. Maybe it’s not paying off to be the world’s cheapest vehicle.