English luxury carmaker Aston Martin has had to recall most of the cars it's made since 2007, as it has been discovered that a Chinese supplier has used counterfeit parts in its production.
The part manufacturer in question, Shenzhen Kexiang Mould Tool Co. Limited, is located in the Pearl River Delta in southern China, and has been using counterfeit plastic for the accelerator pedal arm instead of the DuPont material that Aston Martin requires, the Financial Times reported Thursday. The recall came to light in a letter from the carmaker to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The Chinese supplier is low on Aston Martin’s manufacturing chain. Specifically, it is a subcontractor that supplies Fast Forward Tooling of Hong Kong, which manufacturers the pedal arm for Precision Varionic International of Swindon, the direct supplier of Aston Martin’s accelerator pedals. The counterfeit plastic parts came from Synthetic Plastic Raw Material Co. Ltd. of Dongguan, China.
Aston Martin will be recalling 17,590 cars in total, including all of its left-hand drive models built since November 2007 and all right-hand drive models built since May 2012, which accounts for about 75 percent of all Aston Martin vehicles built in that period, Reuters reported. The popular Vanquish model is not affected.
The cars are being recalled as the accelerator pedal arm made from counterfeit plastic may break, which would increase the risk of a crash, the letter to the NHTSA said. While 22 failed parts have been reported, there has thus far been no reports of accidents or injuries as a result, Aston Martin spokeswoman Sarah Calam said.
The company is also now planning to shift production of the pedal arms from China back to the United Kingdom “as soon as possible” this year. The discovery of the embarrassing counterfeit could have other foreign companies follow suit, and stop working with the many electronics manufacturers in Guangdong province, where Shenzhen Kexiang is based, according to the Financial Times.
Sophie is a graduate of Northwestern University. She covers the emerging markets in Southeast Asia, with a particular interest in foreign investment in the region....