VW to re­call 4.86 mil­lion cars in China

The Herald (South Africa) - - BUSINESS -

VOLK­SWA­GEN will re­call al­most five mil­lion ve­hi­cles in China over airbag con­cerns, Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties said yes­ter­day, deal­ing a new blow to the Ger­man car maker in the world’s largest car mar­ket.

VW and its joint ven­tures with Chi­nese part­ners FAW and SAIC will start with­draw­ing 4.86 mil­lion ve­hi­cles fit­ted with po­ten­tially faulty airbags, made by Ja­pan’s bank­rupt airbag gi­ant Takata, from March, ac­cord­ing to China’s top con­sumer watch­dog.

The an­nounce­ment came just 10 days af­ter VW and its Chi­nese part­ners agreed to re­call 1.82 mil­lion ve­hi­cles ow­ing to a faulty fuel pump.

In March, Volk­swa­gen re­called nearly 680 000 pre­mium Audi cars in China over de­fects in coolant pumps that could lead to en­gine fires, and a fur­ther 572 000 due to po­ten­tial prob­lems aris­ing from leaks in the panoramic sun­roof.

The new re­call in­volved cars made be­tween 2005 and this year, the Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Qual­ity Su­per­vi­sion, In­spec­tion and Quar­an­tine said.

Of those be­ing re­called, more than 4.7 mil­lion were made in China and 103 573 are im­ports.

Takata has re­called about 100 mil­lion airbags pro­duced for some of the largest car mak­ers, in­clud­ing about 70 mil­lion in the US, due to the risk that they could im­prop­erly in­flate and rup­ture, po­ten­tially fir­ing deadly shrap­nel at the oc­cu­pants.

The de­fect has been linked to 16 deaths and scores of in­juries world­wide.

China is a cru­cial mar­ket for VW, which sold nearly four mil­lion ve­hi­cles in the world’s big­gest ve­hi­cle mar­ket last year.

VW is still try­ing to re­cover from the con­tro­versy af­ter it ad­mit­ted in 2015 to equip­ping its diesel cars with de­feat de­vices to evade emis­sions tests.

It has pleaded guilty to charges stem­ming from “diesel­gate” and agreed to pay $4.3-bil­lion (R56.5-bil­lion) in penal­ties – on top of $17.5-bil­lion (R230-bil­lion) in civil set­tle­ments.

Pic­ture: AFP

SAFETY CON­CERNS: Volk­swa­gen cars in a parking lot in Bei­jing

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