Mercedes-Benz, JVs to recall over 350,000 vehicles in China

The recall by Mercedes-Benz and its Chinese joint ventures will begin from October 15 and will include domestically built and imported cars produced from 2006 through 2012. (Reuters)
Updated 13 October 2017
0

Mercedes-Benz, JVs to recall over 350,000 vehicles in China

BEIJING: Mercedes-Benz, the luxury brand of German carmaker Daimler, and its Chinese joint ventures will recall 351,218 vehicles due to potential issues with air bags made by Japan’s Takata, China’s quality watchdog said on Friday.
The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) said on its website that it was concerned about risks arising from possible defects in the cars’ air bag inflators.
Official Chinese estimates showed 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 deploy with too much force and spray shrapnel.
The defect led to the biggest recall in automotive history and eventual bankruptcy of the Japanese maker which had become burdened with tens of billions of dollars worth of liabilities.
The recall by Mercedes-Benz and its Chinese joint ventures will begin from October 15 and will include domestically built and imported cars produced from 2006 through 2012, with models including the SLK-Class and A-Class, the AQSIQ said.
It follows similar recalls by General Motors and Volkswagen last month.
The Chinese watchdog asked the three automakers in July to recall vehicles in China affected by potentially faulty Takata air bags. Up to that time, the automakers had proposed recalling a small number of vehicles for testing and analysis.


Oil near 4-year high as producers resist output rise to offset Iran sanctions

Updated 25 September 2018
0

Oil near 4-year high as producers resist output rise to offset Iran sanctions

  • The United States from November 4 will target Iran’s oil exports with sanctions
  • US President Donald Trump has demanded that OPEC and Russia increase their supplies to make up for the expected fall in Iranian exports

SINGAPORE: Oil prices on Tuesday were within reach of four-year highs hit in the previous session, as looming US sanctions against Iran and unwillingness by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to raise output supported the market.
Brent crude futures were at $81.45 per barrel at 0421 GMT, up 25 cents, or 0.3 percent, and close to the intraday peak touched the previous day at $81.48, the highest level since November 2014.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $72.27 a barrel, up 19 cents, or 0.3 percent from their last settlement.
The United States from Nov. 4 will target Iran’s oil exports with sanctions, and Washington is putting pressure on governments and companies around the world to fall in line and cut purchases from Tehran.
“Iran will lose sizeable export volumes, and given OPEC+ reluctance to raise output, the market is ill-equipped to fill the supply gap,” Harry Tchilinguirian, global head of commodity markets strategy at French bank BNP Paribas, told the Reuters Global Oil Forum on Tuesday.
OPEC+ is the name given to the group of oil producers, including non-OPEC supplier Russia, that agreed to curtail output starting in 2017.
While Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and Iran on Tuesday said they were determined to develop payment mechanisms to continue trading despite the sanctions by the United States, most analysts expect Washington’s actions to knock between 1 million and 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil supplies out of markets.
“We view Brent’s rally above $80 per barrel as fundamentally justified,” said Fitch Solutions in a note.
US President Donald Trump has demanded that OPEC and Russia increase their supplies to make up for the expected fall in Iranian exports. Iran is the third-largest producer in OPEC.
OPEC and Russia, however, have so far rebuffed such calls.
“Any formal decision on oil output by the producer group, barring an extraordinary meeting, will only take place at the December meeting. Thus, the window period for oil prices to potentially extend gains is quite wide as Iran loses exports and OPEC+ remains on standby,” Tchilinguirian said.
Ashley Kelty, oil analyst at financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald said crude could soon hit $90 per barrel.
“We don’t believe OPEC can actually raise output significantly in the near term, as the physical spare capacity in the system is not that high,” Kelty said.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch has lifted its average Brent price forecast for 2019 from $75 per barrel to $80, while it increased its WTI crude oil forecast by $2 to $71 per barrel.
The bank said “the Iran factor may dominate the market near-term and cause a (crude price) spike,” although it added that emerging market “demand concerns could reappear thereafter.”
Indian refiners — struggling from high crude feedstock prices and a sliding rupee — are planning to reduce oil imports in what could be a first sign that high prices are starting to hurt demand.
Despite the bullish sentiment, some traders said current prices already reflected the tighter market, and that more oil would be coming in 2019.
Commodity trading giant Vitol said on Tuesday that non-OPEC producers, especially the United States, may insert up to 2 million bpd of new crude into the market in 2019.
To reflect rising US oil exports, CME Group Inc. said on Monday it will launch a WTI Houston crude futures contract in the fourth quarter.
CME’s announcement comes after rival Intercontinental Exchange said in July it would offer a Houston crude futures contract.