Volkswagen (GR: VOW) plans to voluntarily recall an undisclosed amount of vehicles in China for what the automaker is calling a defective gearbox system.
According to Europe’s largest automaker, a recall will be conducted that consists of cars suspected of having substandard direct-shift gearbox systems, which can cause acceleration problems and accidents for an unspecified number of consumers.
The recall is in response to scrutiny that the Germany-based carmaker received from China’s national state-run television broadcaster, CCTV. Certain VW vehicles were featured on a Friday-night edition of the powerful state-run broadcast that also criticized customer-service practices of Apple Inc.
Chinese owners of VW vehicles fitted with the technology -- a system with two gearboxes that helps enhance gear changes and improves fuel economy -- have reported abnormal vibrations, loss of power and sudden acceleration, according to CCTV’s report.
Christoph Ludewig, spokesman for Volkswagen in China, told the Wall Street Journal that Volkswagen will fully cooperate with all relevant authorities. The company would announce recall details in a later notice, he said.
In the television program, Volkswagen models including Golf, Sagitar, Magotan and CC were cited as having faulty direct-shift gearbox systems.
Volkswagen will most likely take the recall more serious than ever as China recently introduced new legislation this past year that allows certain watchdog agencies to order investigations and impose fines should manufacturers and importers fail to recall faulty products in a timely manner.
The nation’s legislature approved plans last week to expand the authority of the food and drug regulator amid growing public discontent over quality and safety.
While the number of vehicles recalled has not been specified, recent data from May 2012 indicates that the company had sold almost 1 million DSG-equipped vehicles in China.
My name is Carey Vanderborg and I'm a journalist working in New York City. I love food, travel, craft beer, live music and writing about all of the above.