Ris­ing num­ber of pas­sen­ger cars need cru­cial re­pairs as 38 au­tomak­ers co­op­er­ate with author­i­ties

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - MOTORING - LI FUSHENG li­fusheng@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Au­tomak­ers re­called nearly 5 mil­lion pas­sen­ger cars in the first half of this year in China, 40 per­cent of which were premium cars, ac­cord­ing to the countr y ’s top qual­ity watch­dog.

Statis­tics from the G en­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Qual­ity Su­per­vi­sion, In­spec­tion and Quar­an­tine show that 38 car­mak­ers, in­clud­ing both vol­ume and premium brands, made 118 re­calls of 4.86 mil­lion cars from Jan­uary to June, an 18.87 per­cent fall from the same pe­riod last year.

More than 2 mil­lion cars re­called were from premium brands, rang­ing from Audi to Lexus, ac­count­ing for 41 per- cent of the to­tal. In terms of over­all rank­ings, Audi oc­cu­pied first place by re­call­ing 1.26 mil­lion cars, fol­lowed by Toy­ota with 940,000, Volk­swa­gen with 630,000 and Mercedes-Benz 430,000.

The num­ber of cars re­called peaked in March, to­tal­ing 2.6 mil­lion, more than half of all de­fec­tive cars re­called in the first half of the year.

In con­trast, a lit­tle more than 1 mil­lion cars were re­called from April to June.

Cui Dong­shu, sec­re­tar ygen­eral of the China Pas­sen­ger Car As­so­ci­a­tion, said this had some­thing to do with the an­nual March 15 Con­sumer Rights Day Gala, hosted by China Cen­tral Tele­vi­sion.

“Some car­mak­ers is­sued re­calls ahead of the event to pre­vent be­ing ex­posed,” said Cui.

Yet the num­ber of re­calls is ex­pected to rise soon, as the gen­eral ad­min­is­tra­tion is in­ves­ti­gat­ing cars with faulty Takata airbags that can ex­plode un­der cer­tain con­di­tions. It said in a July 6 news re­lease that some 20 mil­lion cars in China are equipped with Takata airbags. Of these, 10.59 mil­lion have been re­called and five car­mak­ers are plan­ning to re­call another 1.26 mil­lion cars soon.

That means 8 mil­lion ve­hi­cles have not yet been re­called. The gen­eral ad­min­is­tra­tion said it is prompt­ing sev­eral ma­jor au­tomak­ers — Volk­swa­gen, GM and Mercedes-Benz — to re­call their share.

“Ac­cord­ing to our in­ves­ti­ga­tion and ex­perts’ ap­praisals, Takata’s faulty airbags are likely to burst and there­fore pose po­ten­tial risks to driv­ers and pas­sen­gers.

“So, the car­mak­ers should take ef­fec­tive mea­sures to elim­i­nate the prob­lems and pre­vent pos­si­ble in­juries,” said the gen­eral ad­min­is­tra­tion.

GM China said:“We are ac­tively de­vel­op­ing a com- pre­hen­sive re­call plan and will work closely with the Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Qual­ity Su­per­vi­sion, In­spec­tion and Quar­an­tine to take ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tions in the near fu­ture.”

Volk­swa­gen Group China gave a sim­i­lar re­sponse, say­ing it is dis­cussing its plans re­gard­ing the Takata airbags with the author­i­ties. “We will take ap­pro­pri­ate and agreed mea­sures as soon as pos­si­ble,” said a rep­re­sen­ta­tive at the Ger­man car­maker.

So far, the de­fec­tive airbags have not in­jured or killed peo­ple in China. The United States has been by far the hard­est hit, with 11 deaths out of the 16 recorded world­wide. Glob­ally, 120 mil­lion cars are equipped with the faulty Takata airbags.

of re­called cars in the first half of this year were premium mod­els

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