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China demands Volkswagen to recall defective cars


09:51, March 17, 2013

BEIJING, March 16 (Xinhua) -- China's consumer quality watchdog on Saturday urged German car maker Volkswagen to recall defective cars after China Central Television (CCTV) exposed the defect in a Friday report.

The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) said in a statement on its website that its research has confirmed that some of the company's direct shift gearbox (DSG) transmissions have defects that may cause engine power failures.

AQSIQ spokesman Zhang Yuanping said that if Volkswagen refuses to fulfill its legal obligations, AQSIQ will force it to recall the defective cars.

On Friday, a CCTV program on consumer rights stated that malfunctions in the DSG transmissions could cause a sudden loss or gain in engine power, which can pose safety hazards.

Volkswagen China wrote on its official microblog late Friday that it has taken the report seriously and will contact consumers as soon as possible to resolve the problem.

According to Zhang, AQSIQ has been investigating the company's DSG transmissions since last March. In May, Volkswagen extended its DSG quality guarantee period in China to ten years under pressure from the administration, Zhang said.

Volkswagen is not the only foreign company being accused of improper practices by CCTV. Electronics Giant Apple Inc. has been accused of adopting differentiating repair and return policies in China.

The company offers shorter warranty periods in China compared with other countries and uses refurbished parts when repairing broken devices, according to CCTV.

CCTV's "3.15" investigatory journalism program has been on the air for 23 years, during which time it has revealed scandals at multiple companies, such as McDonalds and Carrefour.

Li Guangdou, an independent corporate branding strategist, said the "arrogance" of foreign brands suggests weaknesses in Chinese consumer rights protection and loopholes in law enforcement.

During Friday's program, Chinese automaker JAC was also singled out for using substandard steel plates in its cars.

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