Business / Auto Quality

Carmakers issue recalls over safety concerns

By LI FUSHENG/DU XIAOYING (China Daily) Updated: 2015-05-18 13:37

Several big automakers are about to initiate massive recalls in China alongside sluggish sales in the world's largest auto market.

Tianjin FAW Toyota, Changan Ford, Dongfeng Motor, Nissan China and Zhengzhou Nissan Auto plan to recall up to 700,000 cars and SUVs because of potential safety hazards, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine published on its website on May 14.

The notices came after auto sales have seen their slowest growth in months. The China Passenger Car Association said that retail deliveries of cars, multipurpose and sport utility vehicles climbed 6.2 percent to 1.61 million units in April, the lowest growth since November.

According to the quality watchdog's notice, Tianjin FAW Toyota Motor Co Ltd will recall 302,705 Vios and Corolla EX cars produced from January 2004 to March 2007.

The reason is the possibility of flying metal shards when airbags open on the front passenger's seat due to problematic air bag inflators provided by Tokyobased supplier Takata Corp.

Problems from the same supplier will force Dongfeng Motor, Nissan China and Zhengzhou Nissan to recall 267,416 faulty models produced from June 2003 to March 2007.

The affected models, which will be recalled from July 13, include locally made Sunny, Blue Bird and Teana cars, imported TYT and Paladin SUVs and locally made X-Trail SUVs.

Teana cars account for the lion's share, totaling 130,399 units, followed by Sunny with 66,569.

Changan Ford will recall 172,864 new Mondeo models produced between January 2013 and March 2015 starting from June 22 over steering problems, said the notice.

In high-corrosive environments, the bolts that hold the steering gear motor can corrode and fracture and, if this happens, the steering could fail.

However, experts say the recalls are unlikely to cause a direct impact on the Chinese market or consumer confidence although they might bruise the reputation of those automakers.


"Recalls have become commonplace nowadays and they will not affect the market as seriously as other factors such as the slowed economic growth," said Yale Zhang, managing director of Shanghai-based consulting firm Automotive Foresight.

Simon Feng, executive director of Menutor Consulting, termed such recalls "regular" and said they would not have a major impact on sales.

However, he said, one side effect might be that customers will realize that foreign brands do not necessarily ensure good quality, which could be good news for Chinese automakers.

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