Volkswagen to recall 4.86m cars over faulty airbags

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German car giant Volkswagen AG and its Chinese partners will recall 4.86 million cars in China over faulty airbags from Japanese supplier Takata Corp, the largest ever recall in the history of the world's largest automotive market.

Volkswagen Group China will recall 103,573 vehicles, FAW-Volkswagen 2.35 million vehicles and SAIC Volkswagen 2.4 million vehicles because the airbags may explode with flying metal shards under certain conditions, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said in a statement on Thursday.

The cars, which involve those from the Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Seat brands, will be recalled starting from March 2018 into 2019. Volkswagen Group China said it would provide free air bag replacements for the recalled cars.

The recall came after the quality watchdog called on Volkswagen, General Motors and Mercedes-Benz to make recalls, which combined are estimated to have around 8 million cars with Tataka airbags.

"Acting upon advice from the Chinese safety authority, Volkswagen Group China therefore made this recall decision," said Volkswagen in an email.

It added that Volkswagen Group has not received any report on its products worldwide regarding ruptured Takata front airbags.

General Motors China said it is developing a comprehensive recall plan. "We will work closely with the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine to take appropriate actions in the near future."

The three are not the only affected carmakers. According to the top quality watchdog, as of the end of June this year, 24 automakers had recalled 10.59 million vehicles and an additional five had made plans to recall 1.26 million vehicles.

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