GM recalls 1.46 million cars in China

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

(c) 2013, Bloomberg News.

BEIJING — General Motors will recall about 1.46 million cars in China, its largest market, in the nation's biggest callback since a new law broadening manufacturer liability came into force.

Shanghai General Motors Co., GM's passenger-car venture with SAIC Motor Corp., is recalling 1.22 million Buick Excelle and 243,297 Chevrolet Sail cars starting Monday, according to a statement on the website of China's General Administration of Quality Supervision. The statement cited problems with parts that may lead to fuel leaks under extreme conditions.

China is stepping up protection for consumers as automakers from GM to Volkswagen seek to expand sales in the world's largest auto market. The new law, which came into force this year, allows the government to order investigations and impose fines should manufacturers and importers fail to recall faulty vehicles in a timely manner. A separate rule mandating minimum standards for warranties took effect from October.

"Even though it is a big recall, it won't have that much of impact on the automaker given that components makers usually pay the majority of costs if they supplied faulty parts," said Han Weiqi, an analyst with CSC International Holdings in Shanghai. "GM has established its brand image in China and the recall is unlikely to undermine their appeal to car buyers, especially when there are no casualties involved."

A total of 3.76 million vehicles have been recalled in China as of Dec. 24, on track for an annual record, according to the quality supervision administration.