Volkswagen, partners to recall 4.86 million vehicles in China over Takata airbags

Volkswagen delivered 3.98 million vehicles in China last year. (Reuters)
Updated 14 September 2017
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Volkswagen, partners to recall 4.86 million vehicles in China over Takata airbags

BEIJING/SHANGHAI: Volkswagen and its Chinese joint ventures FAW-Volkswagen and SAIC Volkswagen will recall 4.86 million vehicles in China due to potential issues with Takata Corp. air bags, a blow to the carmaker in the world’s largest auto market.
The recall comes after Chinese watchdogs asked the German automaker as well as General Motors and Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz to recall vehicles with Takata air bags earlier this year.
Official Chinese estimates show over 20 million cars in China had air bags made by Takata, which have been linked to at least 16 deaths and 180 injuries globally. The air bags have the potential to explode with too much force and spray shrapnel.
The defect led to the biggest recall in automotive history and eventual bankruptcy of the Japanese maker.
Volkswagen told Reuters in an e-mailed statement on Thursday that after discussions, Chinese authorities had concluded the fault could occur in rare cases when the air bag was deployed, “which may create a potential safety risk”.
“Acting upon advice from the Chinese safety authority, Volkswagen Group China therefore made this recall decision.”
The carmaker said it had not received any reports related to the issue affecting its vehicles globally, and that a parts analysis had found Takata air bag inflators – the suspected cause of the defect – were in “normal condition”.
China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said in a statement that VW China would recall 103,573 vehicles, FAW-Volkswagen 2.35 million vehicles and SAIC Volkswagen 2.4 million vehicles.
The watchdog said the recall would run from March next year into 2019.
Volkswagen said the carmaker and its Chinese partners would provide free air bag replacements on the recalled cars.
Volkswagen, which also owns the high-end Audi brand, is not the only carmaker hit by recalls in China related to Takata air bags.
As of the end of June this year, 24 out of 37 affected automakers had recalled 10.59 million vehicles. A further five had made plans to recall 1.26 million vehicles.
Volkswagen delivered 3.98 million vehicles in China last year, an increase of 12.2 percent on 2015, making it the biggest foreign automaker in the country.


Russia sees ‘solid foundation’ for extending oil alliance

Updated 20 min 39 sec ago
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Russia sees ‘solid foundation’ for extending oil alliance

  • Russia is the world’s leading producer of crude oil, pumping around 11 million barrels per day
  • Saudi Energy Minister Khaled Al-Faleh said there was “consensus” forming among oil producers to extend cooperation on a long-term basis

JEDDAH: Russia said there was a “very solid foundation” for extending cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC countries at a meeting Friday of oil producers in Saudi Arabia.
Oil kingpin Saudi Arabia said a “consensus” was emerging for a long-term cooperation agreement.
“We have created a very solid foundation for cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC countries in the future even beyond the declaration of cooperation,” Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah.
He was referring to a cooperation agreement between the 14-member OPEC group and 10 non-OPEC producers, led by Russia, to cut oil production by 1.8 million barrels per day to reduce oversupply.
The deal — which is due to run out at the end of 2018 — has succeeded in reducing a global glut of oil and pushed prices to over $70 a barrel from less than $30 in January 2016.
“Both consumers and producers of oil are expecting us to retain this solidarity to ensure stability and growth of the market,” Novak said at the start of a ministerial committee meeting to assess the compliance with the cuts.
Russia is the world’s leading producer of crude oil, pumping around 11 million bpd and its approval of the alliance is crucial to its success.
Saudi Energy Minister Khaled Al-Faleh said there was “consensus” forming among oil producers to extend cooperation on a long-term basis.
“There will be an extended framework of cooperation ... There is a consensus emerging. We need to do that,” he told reporters ahead of the Jeddah meeting.
“We are at the stage of setting a long-term framework” beyond 2018, added Faleh, whose country is the world’s top crude exporter.
Although reports indicate that a significant portion of oil glut has been removed from the market, Faleh warned that more work needs to be done.
He said that the inventory levels were still higher than the normal average and “we have not seen the low season,” when demand for oil drops, he said.
Novak said that the production cuts agreement, which came into effect at the start of 2017, has removed some 300 million barrels of surplus crude from the market.