China may be the world’s largest car market, but it must be the most dangerous one too – and not just because of the maniac drivers.
Last year, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said that 13.6 million vehicles were sold, including 650,000 heavy trucks.
Now comes news from the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) that a staggering 1.36 million vehicles were recalled because of faults.
So, one in ten new cars has a fault, and the number of recalls is spiralling. There were 150% more recalls in 2009 than in the previous year. AQSIQ says this proves that people are paying more attention to product quality and that it is enforcing more recalls.
But I would be worried if I was driving a Chinese car. Chinese cars were the subject of 29 recalls, involving 1.28 million cars, while foreign brands were recalled 28 times, involving 81,400 cars.
The marques involved include Toyota, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Volvo, as well as the joint venture operations between Ford and Chang’an and SAIC and Volkswagen. The only brands not to get recalled because of some fault were Geely, Brilliance Jinbei and Renault Trucks.