Radiation rumors electrify Cruze owners

Updated: 2012-02-20 10:21

By Xu Xiao (China Daily)

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BEIJING - After panicked micro blog reports alleged the transmission in the hot-selling Chevrolet Cruze emits potentially dangerous levels of electromagnetic radiation, joint venture automaker Shanghai GM released test results last week showing readings are well within health standards.

Radiation rumors electrify Cruze owners

A scientific test commissioned by Shanghai GM found electromagnetic radiation levels are within health standards, the company announced. [Photo/China Daily]

The official findings by China's Physical and Chemical Research Center of Science and Environmental Analysis detected only 0.4T, or less than a millionth of one Tesla, the measure of magnetic energy.

Chinese and international standards say that up to 100 T of magnetic radiation is safe to humans.

A living room lamp emits about 0.18T and a television between 0.11T and 0.3T.

The original posts on Weibo - the Chinese equivalent of Twitter - by Cruze owners in Guangdong province said they found the electromagnetic radiation from their cars reached 19T, about 30 times the level measured at a nearby electricity substation.

Although it's unclear what triggered the concerns and grassroots tests, the rumor frightened other Cruze owners, many of them young, first-time car owners.

The online reports noted that excessive levels of electromagnetic radiation can harm the human reproductive system, so several young Cruze owners tested their cars using their own methods.

An announcement from Shanghai GM said its Chevrolet Cruze cars "are built fully in accordance with national and international regulations, and GM has specialized quality testing agencies to ensure it".

Yet a Cruze owner surnamed Chen from Guangdong province who conducted his owns tests is still concerned.

"Even if our method was not official, why did only the Cruze test show higher radiation than other models when the same method of testing was used?" he asked.

Chen told reporters that there is still a question whether results released from the third-party agency are objective and authoritative.

Cao Yan, a Shanghai GM dealer in Guangdong province, told reporters there are no compulsory standards for electromagnetic radiation in the auto industry and levels from interior devices are not tested.

Industry observers say the issue offers an opportunity to enhance national standards on electromagnetic car radiation.

Chinese-language media reported that several consumers are still waiting for explanations from a supervisory institution.

The Cruze, priced at up to 148,900 yuan ($23,630), sold 221,196 units last year, third in sales among all cars on the market in China.