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Shanghai GM Plans Car Recall

Shanghai GM, General Motors' 50-50 joint venture with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp, has applied to the Chinese quality regulator to recall 27,168 Buick Regal sedans due to possible brake problems.

The affected 2.0-litre Buick Regals were produced between December 17, 2002 and September 28, 2004, Shanghai GM said in a statement yesterday.

No fatal accidents have been reported because of the problems, the company said.

The company stressed the recall would not include its 2.5 and 3.0-litre V6 Buick Regals as they have not been found to have such problems.

Shanghai GM said its 198 service stations across China would offer free repairs to owners of the affected 2.0-litre Buick Regals.

Shanghai GM is the fourth automaker in China to recall faulty cars this year.

In September, Sino-Japanese joint venture Chang'an Suzuki recalled 157,480 Alto compact cars, representing the biggest recall.

FAW Car Co Ltd, the Shenzhen-listed arm of China's top vehicle manufacturer First Automotive Works Corp, recalled some 30,000 Mazda6 sedans in June.

Honda's car joint venture with Guangzhou Automobile Group recalled 70,000 Accord sedans in June.

Foreign automakers, such as Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi and Toyota, have also recalled vehicles sold in China this year.

Analysts say automobile recalls will take place in China more frequently as a result of growing car sales and the implementation of related regulations on October 1.

According to the regulations, automakers will be compelled to recall defective vehicles or be put on a "blacklist" and fined a maximum of 30,000 yuan (US$3,600) if they are found to have tried to cover up problems.

In the past, manufacturers could shun recalls of their faulty vehicles because of the lack of regulations.

Vehicle sales in China are forecast to top 5 million units this year, up from 4.4 million units last year.

(China Daily November 24, 2004)

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