UPDATE 3-Volkswagen’s China JV recalls cars over air bag issue

29 Oct 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »

VW recalls 270,000 cars in China to fix airbags.

BEIJING (AP) — Volkswagen and a Chinese partner are recalling 270,000 cars in China to repair a software problem that might prevent air bags from activating properly, the government said Wednesday. Guests look at a Volkswagen car during media day at the 15th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition in Shanghai, in this April 20, 2013 file picture. The recall by FAW-Volkswagen Automotive Co. applies to 265,943 Audi A4L cars made in China and 4,692 imported Audi A4 allroad cars, according to the Administration for Quality Inspection, Supervision and Quarantine.

Some of the cars in the recall have software configuration problems in the air bag control systems, which mean the air bags fail to open in certain circumstances in collisions, the Chinese regulator said in a statement. A spokeswoman at Audi China said the airbags were from a German supplier, and that the recall has nothing to do with Takata Corp <7312.T> – the embattled Japanese company whose potentially defective airbags have led to the recall of millions of vehicles. Heizmann was speaking to reporters in Shanghai, where the German carmaker is launching a week-long campaign to promote e-mobility in China’s financial hub. Reuters SHANGHAI—The head of German car maker Volkswagen AG ’s China business tried to reassure wary customers in the world’s largest car market that its vehicles are safe after the company was forced to recall 580,000 vehicles due to safety concerns. Volkswagen has previously said it plans to introduce into China more than 15 electric or plug-in hybrid cars for Volkswagen and other brands it owns by 2018, many of which will be locally produced.

Jochem Heizmann, member of the board of management of Volkswagen Group and president and chief executive of Volkswagen Group China, was speaking at a media event to outline VW’s strategy for producing new energy cars. China, suffering from worsening pollution, has stepped up efforts to promote use of electric cars, having rolled out incentive policies and tougher fuel-efficiency and emission rules.

Earlier this month a spokesman for VW said the problem occurred when a driver was involved in a rear-end collision that was so severe that it damaged the axle. In each case the company investigated, the torsion crank broke when the driver continued driving with the car instead of taking the car in for repair. Heizmann reiterated Tuesday VW’s steps to allay Chinese consumers’ concern, including free inspection for damage and modification of the axle if necessary. It’s the time abandon Volkswagen—since it has abandoned us,” said a user of Sina Corp. ’s microblogging website Weibo writing under the name Le Ge.

Heizmann said he expected the number of Chinese cities with restrictions on license plates could increase to 50 within this decade, up from the current half a dozen. “This will extremely push demand for electric vehicles especially in mega cities,” he said. Heizmann said hybrids would soon outsell pure electric vehicles in China. “Plug in hybrids should be seen as a key solution for China’s new energy development in the short to medium term,” he said. VW is also thinking about producing a hybrid version of the Passat and possible larger models in the future. “We can electrify nearly every model in our range,” Mr.

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