BY SILVI WRITER
A total of 308 imported Mercedes-Benz vehicles were found to have substandard exhaust emission control parts in China, the country official news agency Xinhua reported on Apr 8, a day before a women in Xi’an asked a local dealer for refund after she claimed her new car’s engine was defective on the day she bought it.
In the Xinhua story, China’s General Administration of Customs (GAC) said in a statement that customs authorities found the problem in some vehicles of Mercedes-Benz GLE, GLE Coupe and GLS models, GAC during random inspections.
The three-way catalyst converter, an exhaust emission control device, in those vehicles, was found to be inconsistent with the vehicle information filed to Chinese environmental authorities by Mercedes-Benz (China) Automotive Sales Co.
The company attributed the problem to an outdated parts supply information system that failed to check the consistency of some models.
Among the problematic vehicles, 279 have been sold to customers and 29 are currently in the dealers’ inventory. The wrong parts need to be replaced to eliminate the risk, the statement said.
GAC has asked the company to contact buyers of the problematic cars to eliminate the risks, the statement said.
The market regulatory authority in Xi’an, Shaanxi province in northwest China, has urged a local Mercedes-Benz dealer to give a customer a refund after she claimed the new car’s engine was defective on the day she bought it, China Daily reported.
The woman, who had signed a contract with the dealer Xi’an Lizhixing Co on Feb 25 to buy an imported Mercedes-Benz CLS300 vehicle through installment payments, claimed the engine developed problems after she picked up the car on March 27, according to a statement released by the Xi’an Internet Information Office on Sunday.
The woman, who was not named, then asked the company for either a refund or exchange for another car but failed.
On April 9, she filed complaints with the Shaanxi provincial market regulatory administration and Xi’an municipal government through telephone calls, asking for a refund. The market regulatory administration in Xi’an’s Gaoxin district－where the company is located－also urged the company on the same day to handle the complaint according to the law.
The market regulatory administration in Gaoxin has opened an investigation of the dealer for suspected quality problems, and has authorized a testing institute to examine the car in this case.
In another development, Benz’s China joint venture Beijing Benz will recall 1,925 Mercedes-Benz vehicles as of May 31 due to defective airbags.
The move involves its C-class sedans and GLC sport utility vehicles produced between January 27 and March 26, 2018, according to information on China’s State Administration for Market Regulation.
The knee airbags for the driver may not provide effective protection as the supplier of vehicles used unqualified materials for the airbag, it said. It could increase the risk of injury to people in the vehicle in the case of an accident. Beijing Benz will replace the defective knee airbags free of charge for affected vehicles.
Since China began implementing the rule of recalling defective cars in October 2004, more than 1,800 recalls have been announced by automakers, involving over 69 million vehicles, Xinhua News Agency reported.