Business / Auto Quality

Shanghai GM hit with biggest recall in Chinese history

By Li Fusheng (China Daily) Updated: 2016-05-30 09:28

A GM joint venture is recalling more than 2 million cars in China due to possible engine problems, the biggest recall by an automaker in the country, according to China's top quality watchdog.

Shanghai GM will recall 2.16 million cars starting from Aug 15 for four models: the Chevrolet Cruz, Buick Excelle GT, Chevrolet Epica and Chevrolet Rveo. The recall was announced by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine in a news release on Thursday.

The general administration said the models made between February 2009 and April 2016 are equipped with the carmaker's third-generation natural aspiration engines. It said faulty membranes in the shaft box may erode over time and damage the engine.

"We have received a high number of consumer complaints about engine problems about cars made by Shanghai GM and due to our investigation, the automaker decided to make the recalls and solve the problems," said the watchdog in its release.

The carmaker said it would replace the faulty part free of charge, though owners of Buick vehicles said on the popular website on Friday that they could not reach the carmaker through mobile phone. They later found out that the listed number for Buick could only be dialed with a land line.

A post from Xiantian, an user from Qingdao, read: "Why not simply tell us that? It would affect your reputation".

The general administration has shown more initiative in collecting information, conducting investigations and prompting recalls since it released a detailed regulation on car recalls that took effect from Jan 1.

Earlier this year the administration initiated probes into Volkswagen and Porsche after noticing reports of their overseas recalls because of brake problems. That promoted a recall of about 200,000 cars in China.

John Zeng, managing director at consultancy LMC Automotive Shanghai, praised the watchdog for making it easier for people to file complaints about problems with their vehicles.

He said Chinese customers' growing awareness of quality is helping the watchdog to solicit more information and prompt carmakers and dealers to recall faulty cars.

An analyst who wanted to be anonymous said automakers should be more active when there are quality problems.

He said in the age of the internet nothing can be concealed for long and a smart solution for automakers is to acknowledge and solve any problems as soon as possible before their brands suffer.

Mitsubishi Motors, which will be sold to Nissan soon, saw its sales slump and never to rebound after repeated cover-ups of customer complaints about quality problems in the early 2000s.

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