BMW's recall statement triggers chain reaction in China

15:55, October 14, 2010      

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BMW's recall of nearly 200,000 luxury vehicles in the United States to fix leaks that could develop in the power braking system has extended to another 150,000 cars of the same series around the globe.

Globally, some 345,000 BMWs of the 5 Series, 6 Series and 7 Series vehicles powered by V8 and V12 engines and almost 6,000 Rolls Royce Phantom models could be affected by the problem, BMW spokesman Frank Strebe said. He stressed there have been no reports of accidents or injuries.

Currently, the models 650i, 750Li, 760Li in the Chinese market will be affected by this recall.

The recall in the United States began more than 10 days ago, but in China the same models affected by the recall has not yet received any notification.

Liu Feng from Southwest Securities told reporters at the recent Paris Auto Show, BMW's president has made it clear that BMW will recall 198,000 cars in the United States as preventive measures, and BMW's hope for the future market growth lies in China.

Liu said the BMW president highlighted only China and the United States at the Paris Motor Show, but this recall causes doubts. Since the United States and China are both important strategic markets for BMW, why has China repeatedly suffered discriminatory treatment in recalls?

Consumers' right to know violated

BMW said the possibility of leakage in the energy-assisted braking system of the recall model will affect the braking performance. However, in these circumstances, the mechanical braking system, which does not rely on that, can perform normally, and the company has not received any related accidents or injuries reports.

An industry source pointed out that the statement implies that the mechanical braking system can maintain the normal use even in case of energy-assisted braking system failure. However, the energy-assisted braking system and mechanical brake system work together. Failure in the energy-assisted braking system will certainly have an impact on vehicle braking, thereby affecting driving safety. Liu also told reporters that brake fluid leakage is a relatively serious technical problem.

Li Weimin from Beijing Weibo Law Firm said BMW has the responsibility to promptly inform customers what kind of quality problems there are, the impact and other matters. BMW's ambiguous statement is contrary to the principle of transparency and infringes on the consumer's right to know. The right to know is the foundation of other rights of consumers, such as right to choose and right to claim. So customers' other rights are also affected to different degrees.

BMW used car prices drop drastically

According to staff of Beijing's used motor vehicle market, recently there have been more BMW used cars than a few months before, and many are the relatively-new BMW models.

Currently used China-made BMW models are generally 100,000 yuan cheaper than new cars. And a poll showed that since July this year used car prices in China are diving, and the BMW 5 Series price dropped most. Out of a number of luxury car brands, BMW 5 Series and BMW 3 Series used car prices have dropped the most.

Analysts pointed out that part of the reason is many BMW owners sold the car due to quality problems and after-sale service. As the Chinese automobile market is growing rapidly, BMW will cautiously deal with China's vehicle quality issue.

Frequent recalls hurt BMW brand

This recall is the fourth recall BMW issued this year. Insiders doubt the frequent recall will inevitably harm the brand value. Will BMW still be "the most trusted brand"?

Liu Feng said based on past experience, after BMW recall the vehicles, it will deal with the responsible people, not just repair recalled vehicles.

By Huang Beibei, People's Daily Online


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