Faulty Chi­nese part forces ma­jor As­ton Martin re­call

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By XU WEI xuwei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

As­ton Martin is re­call­ing sports car mod­els built since late 2007 af­ter dis­cov­er­ing a Chi­nese parts sup­plier was us­ing a coun­ter­feit plas­tic ma­te­rial in a part sup­plied to the lux­ury car­maker.

The Bri­tish lux­ury car­maker is re­call­ing 17,590 cars, in­clud­ing all of its left-hand-drive mod­els built since Novem­ber 2007 and all right­hand-drive mod­els built since May 2012, af­fect­ing about 75 per­cent of all ve­hi­cles built in that pe­riod, a spokes­woman said. The Van­quish model is not af­fected.

As­ton Martin found that Shen­zhen Kex­i­ang Mould Tool Co, a sub­con­trac­tor in Shen­zhen, Guang­dong prov­ince, was us­ing a coun­ter­feit plas­tic ma­te­rial in mak­ing ac­cel­er­a­tor pedal arms for the sports car­maker.

The sub­par plas­tic was sup­plied by Syn­thetic Plas­tic Raw Ma­te­rial Co of Dong­guan, Guang­dong prov­ince, ac­cord­ing to doc­u­ments filed with the US Na­tional High­way Traf­fic Safety Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Qual­ity Su­per­vi­sion, In­spec­tion and Quar­an­tine, China’s qual­ity watch­dog and top au­thor­ity for ve­hi­cle re­calls, had not com­mented on the re­call by press time on Thurs­day.

Calls to the Shen­zhen Kex­i­ang Mould Tool Co also went unan­swered on Thurs­day.

The 2008-14 mod­els are be­ing re­called be­cause the ac­cel­er­a­tor pedal arms may break, in­creas­ing the risk of a crash, ac­cord­ing to the US traf­fic safety ad­min­is­tra­tion. This re­call re­places the re­call an­nounced last May and ex­panded in Oc­to­ber.

The au­tomaker first launched an in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the ped­als af­ter it re­ceived a re­port from a US dealer in Con­necti­cut, who claimed the pedal arm broke dur­ing a re­pair for the sec­ond re­call, ac­cord­ing to the US traf­fic safety watch­dog.

It then sus­pended ship­ment of the al­legedly faulty ped­als and later de­ter­mined that the tier-three sup­plier, Syn­thetic Plas­tic Raw Ma­te­rial Co of Dong­guan, was man­u­fac­tur­ing pedal arms with non-con­form­ing coun­ter­feit ma­te­rial.

The au­tomaker said that go­ing for­ward, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of As­ton Martin will su­per­vise the pro­duc­tion of all pedal arms in China.

It also plans to re­source the man­u­fac­ture of pedal arms from China to the UK as soon as pos­si­ble.

A spokes­woman for As­ton Martin said there had been no re­ports of ac­ci­dents or in­juries re­lated to the is­sue, and the fi­nan­cial im­pact to the au­tomaker was small.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

The As­ton Martin Vi­rage was one of sev­eral mod­els the car­maker re­called af­ter a Chi­nese sup­plier was found us­ing a coun­ter­feit plas­tic ma­te­rial.

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