Volkswagen and its Chinese joint ventures FAW-Volkswagen and SAIC Volkswagen are going to recall 4.86 million vehicles in China because of potential concerns with Takata Corp air bags, a blow to the automakers.
The recall follows Chinese watchdogs request from the German automaker in addition to General Motors and Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz to recall vehicles with Takata air bags previously this year.
Official Chinese estimates reveal more than 20 million cars in China had air bags made by Takata, which have been connected to at least 16 deaths and 180 injuries worldwide. The air bags have the potential to blow up with excessive force and spray shrapnel.
The defect resulted in the most significant recall in automotive history and ultimate personal bankruptcy of the Japanese maker.
Volkswagen informed Reuters on Thursday that after conversations, Chinese officials had concluded the fault could happen in uncommon cases when the air bag was deployed, “which might create a potential safety risk”.
“Acting upon advice from the Chinese security authority, Volkswagen Group China for that reason made this recall decision.”
The automaker said it had not received any reports associated with the problem impacting its cars internationally, and that a parts analysis had discovered Takata air bag inflators – the suspected reason for the problem – were in “normal condition”.
China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) stated that Volkswagen China would recall 103,573 vehicles, FAW-Volkswagen 2.35 million vehicles and SAIC Volkswagen 2.4 million vehicles.
The watchdog stated the recall would range fromz March next year into 2019.
Volkswagen said the automaker and its Chinese partners would offer free air bag replacements on the recalled vehicles.