Faulty airbags: Mercedes to re­call cars

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

BEI­JING — Mercedes-Benz, the lux­ury brand of Ger­man car­maker Daim­ler AG, and its Chi­nese joint ven­tures will re­call 351 218 ve­hi­cles due to po­ten­tial is­sues with airbags made by Ja­pan’s Takata Corp, China’s qual­ity watch­dog said last Fri­day.

The Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Qual­ity Su­per­vi­sion, In­spec­tion and Quar­an­tine (AQSIQ) said on its web­site that it was con­cerned about risks aris­ing from pos­si­ble de­fects in the cars’ air bag in­fla­tors.

Of­fi­cial Chi­nese es­ti­mates showed over 20 mil­lion cars in China had airbags made by Takata, which have been linked to at least 16 deaths and 180 in­juries glob­ally. The air bags have the po­ten­tial to de­ploy with too much force and spray shrap­nel.

The de­fect led to the big­gest re­call in au­to­mo­tive his­tory and even­tual bank­ruptcy of the Ja­panese maker that had be­come bur­dened with tens of bil­lions of dol­lars worth of li­a­bil­i­ties.

The re­call by Mercedes-Benz and its Chi­nese joint ven­tures will be­gin from Oc­to­ber 15 and will in­clude do­mes­ti­cally built and im­ported cars pro­duced from 2006 through 2012, with mod­els in­clud­ing the SLK-Class and A-Class, the AQSIQ said.

It fol­lows sim­i­lar re­calls by Gen­eral Mo­tors Co and Volk­swa­gen AG last month.

The Chi­nese watch­dog asked the three au­tomak­ers in July to re­call ve­hi­cles in China af­fected by po­ten­tially faulty Takata airbags. Up to that time, the au­tomak­ers had pro­posed re­call­ing a small num­ber of ve­hi­cles for test­ing and anal­y­sis. — Reuters.

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