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Auto Giant to Replace Ignition Component
Local Volkswagen sedan owners baffled by ignition coil problems can change the system free of charge, the German auto giant said yesterday.

Complaints were made by owners of the Bora 1.8T sport sedan, Passat B5 1.8T and Audi A6 1.8T after they found out their new cars are nagged by the glitch.

They say the snag leads to performance problems and falling fuel economy.

According to a Volkswagen public statement made yesterday, it will try to increase the supply of alternative ignition coils to address the growing concern over the problem.

But the company did not elaborate on when the demand for coils would be met, saying instead it is trying to work the problem out.

According to reports throughout the country, the ignition coils -- referred to by some as the "heart of the ignition system" -- are in short supply in many major cities.

A Xinhua report said yesterday a phone survey among 19 large after-sales service outlets for Volkswagen in major cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou showed only one had coils in store.

At a downtown Beijing service station yesterday, nearly 20 cars hit by the fault were lined up, waiting for new coils.

But an employee said they only receive two new coils a week and car owners who had booked a service a month ago could only now get a new coil.

The number of cars being affected by the coils is not known.

All parts for the three types of Volkswagens are imported by its parent company in Germany.

A Volkswagen spokesman said yesterday the company has requested service stations affiliated with its China-based operations in Shanghai and Changchun to provide services for drivers free of charge.

Several upset customers aired their displeasure yesterday, saying Volkswagen should have established a system that could have nipped the problem in the bud.

Others blamed the mess on a complete reliance on imported parts.

(China Daily January 17, 2003)

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