Audi, Toyota recall defective vehicles in China  _Auto鈥擟hina Economic Net
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Audi, Toyota recall defective vehicles in China  
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2005-05-20 09:34

Toyota's five auto recalls in China since last year
 1,489 Lexus LS430 sedans in July last year
 2,339 Landcruiser Prado SUVs in August last year
 1,913 Lexus RX300 sedans in November last year
 1,717 Lexus LS430 sedans in January this year
 8,549 Landcruiser Prado SUVs in May this year

Japan's biggest car maker, the Toyota Motor Corp, is recalling 8,549 sports utility vehicles (SUV) in China due to possible suspension problems.

Announced yesterday, the recall, which relates to Landcruiser Prados built between May 22, 2001 and December 23 2003, will start on May 30.

The defects, which affect the front suspension, will be fixed free of charge at Toyota's Chinese imported vehicle sales and service garages, Toyota Motor (China) Investment said.

According to Yang Hongjian, an official from Toyota Motor (China) Investment, no accidents have yet been attributed to the fault.

The move will be part of Toyota's global recall of 860,000 sports utility vehicles and pickups.

It is Toyota's fifth auto recall in China since last year.

The Japanese car maker recalled 2,339 imported Landcruiser Prados last August in China and 1,717 and 1,489 imported Lexus LS430 sedans in January this year and July last year respectively.

The company also recalled 1,913 imported Lexus RX300 sedans in China last November.

"We don't think that images of our company and products will be ruined by our frequent recalls in China. It is a common practice internationally," Yang said in an interview with China Daily.

"These recalls indicate that Toyota acts responsibly towards our customers in China," she said.

A lot of automakers, including Chinese and foreign companies and Sino-foreign joint ventures, have recalled vehicles since China issued its first auto recall decree in March last year.

More than 300,000 vehicles were recalled in China within a year of the decree being issued.

According to the decree, automakers are compelled to recall faulty vehicles or face being put on a "blacklist" to the general public and fined a maximum 30,000 yuan (US$3,600) if they are found to have tried to hide problems.

"With the implementation of the decree and growing numbers of cars , more auto recalls are bound to occur although Chinese customers are not familiar with the practice at present," said Jia Xinguang, an analyst from the China Automotive Industry Consulting and Development Corp.

In the past, many vehicle producers refused to recall defective models in China and used the lack of related regulations as an excuse.

But the new regulations alone should not be considered a panacea.

"The current decree is not enough. In particular, the amount of penalty against automakers found to cover up problems is too small," Jia said.

Officials from the quality supervision administration of China have said that the fine could be increased and the auto recall decree amended to cover more types of vehicle.

Toyota's sales in the Chinese mainland grew by 38 per cent year-on-year to more than 50,000 vehicles in the first four months of this year, according to Yang.

Sales included 43,000 units produced in China.

The Japan-based manufacturer, which runs a slew of vehicle joint ventures in China with local partners, aims to control 10 per cent of the nation's auto market by 2010, up from around 2 per cent last year.

China's vehicle demand is forecast to grow by 12 per cent to 5.6 million units this year from 2004.

Source:China Daily 
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