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Call for auto recalls to be encouraged

By Chen Dujuan (Global Times)

08:07, March 19, 2013

A series of auto recalls have been announced recently and an expert said Monday that recalls should be encouraged to boost automakers' sense of responsibility to consumers.

German auto company BMW began a recall Monday of 2,116 X5 utility vehicles from China, due to brake vacuum pump leaks, the company said.

Japanese auto giant Toyota said Friday it would recall 4,400 FJ Cruisers in China, starting April 15. German luxury auto firm Porsche announced Thursday a recall of 384 cars in China and French carmaker Renault said Thursday that it would recall 8,114 vehicles.

Separately, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) said Saturday that it had ordered German auto firm Volkswagen to recall vehicle models equipped with direct shift gearbox (DSG) systems, following a report about malfunctions in these devices by China Central Television on Friday.

Volkswagen said in a statement Saturday that it would implement a voluntary recall regarding the DSG issue, and the company "has been and will continue to cooperate with all relevant authorities."

Auto recalls take place globally almost every week, and should not be considered a disaster, but rather the inevitable result of technological updates, Zhang Zhiyong, a Beijing-based independent auto analyst, told the Global Times.

"Active recalls by carmakers show that they take their responsibility to consumers seriously," Zhang said.

Vehicle producers and dealers face higher penalties under the new automotive recall regulation, which took effect on January 1, 2013. It raised fines to up to 10 percent of the sales revenue of the problematic vehicles, which could be higher than 100 million yuan ($16.1 million). The previous recall regulation allowed for a fine of no more than 30,000 yuan.

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