China GM in 1.5m faulty car re­call

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE -

SHANG­HAI: Gen­eral Mo­tors Co’s China joint ven­ture will re­call close to 1.5 mil­lion ve­hi­cles due to po­ten­tial safety is­sues in one of the big­gest re­calls in the world’s big­gest car mar­ket.

Shang­hai Gen­eral Mo­tors Co Ltd, GM’s ven­ture with SAIC Mo­tor Corp, will re­call about 1.46 mil­lion Buick and Chevro­let mod­els pro­duced lo­cally due to is­sues with a bracket that se­cures the fuel pump, the coun­try’s qual­ity watch­dog said yes­ter­day.

Some of the re­called ve­hi­cles in­clude the Chevy Sail which is ex­ported to emerg­ing mar­kets, a Shang­hai-based GM of­fi­cial said. Sep­a­rately, the watch­dog said Ford Mo­tor Co’s joint ven­ture with Chongqing Changan Au­to­mo­bile Co Ltd will re­call close to 81 000 of its Kuga cars over a steer­ing part.

Yale Zhang, head of Shang­hai- based con­sult­ing firm Au­to­mo­tive Fore­sight, said the GM re­call was big in num­ber be­cause both mod­els – the Buick Ex­celle and Chevro­let Sail – are high-vol­ume, main­stream cars. But the cause of the re­call didn’t ap­pear se­ri­ous.

“GM has warned that the af­fected com­po­nent might crack af­ter long use and lead to fuel leak­age, but in real life it doesn’t ap­pear to have hap­pened. There are so many re­calls th­ese days, and some au­tomak­ers call back prod­ucts proac­tively more as a pre­cau­tion. In this case, the re­call shouldn’t af­fect GM’s rep­u­ta­tion in China that much.”

US car­mak­ers in China have gen­er­ally out­paced growth in the over­all mar­ket, boosted by their pop­u­lar prod­uct line- ups and partly as Ja­panese ri­vals were hit last year by anti-Ja­pan protests fol­low­ing a ter­ri­to­rial dis­pute be­tween Bei­jing and Tokyo.

GM sold 2.89 mil­lion ve­hi­cles in China in Jan­uaryNovem­ber, up 11.4 per­cent from a year ear­lier, while Ford sold 840 975 ve­hi­cles, up 51 per­cent.

To­tal China ve­hi­cle sales rose 13.5 per­cent in Jan­uaryNovem­ber to 19.86 mil­lion, with car sales up 15.1 per­cent to 16.15 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the China As­so­ci­a­tion of Au­to­mo­bile Man­u­fac­tur­ers (CAAM).

Last month, Volk­swa­gen's Chi­nese unit re­called 640 309 ve­hi­cles to check they were us­ing min­eral oil rather than syn­thetic oil to avoid gear­boxre­lated elec­tronic flaws. That was part of a broader global re­call over a range of is­sues with sev­eral mod­els. It also pulled 207 778 Tiguan SUVs off the road due to a par­tial light mal­func­tion risk. – Reuters.

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