Disgruntled Chinese buyers threaten to launch protest vs VW

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 29, 2014

Protests could be waiting for Volkswagen AG across China as its customers remained unsatisfied with how it handled a recall to fix a possible suspension glitch. The German carmaker is planning to issue a recall of 581,090 New Sagitar and Beetle vehicles in China to glue metal plates to the rear torsion crank axle.

VW said that plates should stabilize the vehicles and would let out warning noises in case of cracks. Soh Weiming, Volkswagen China’s executive president, remarked last week that the axle is safe and the installation of the metal inlays is like “providing a double assurance.” VW said in an e-mail to Bloomberg that in rare cases, a rear-side or rear-end impact results could bend or break the of the rear torsion crank axle.

It assured that drivers don’t have to worry about the axle bending or breaking if a vehicle doesn’t suffer from such an impact. Aside from the metal inlays, Volkswagen will also offer a 10-year guarantee as a goodwill gesture to fix any rear torsion crack axle damaged in affected New Sagitar and Beetle cars.

The recall will commence in February 2015. VW, however, failed to win over car owners, who recently launched a protest at its dealerships in major Chinese cities like Shanghai and Shenzhen. Some protesters even held banners condemning Volkswagen for being “unconscionable” while others distributed flyers describing their fear of driving the affected vehicles.

Protesters also uploaded a poster on the QQ social-media service urging Sagitar owners to protest anew in 100 Chinese cities on Nov. 9. One of the protesters, 36-year-old Dai Dushi, dubbed the vehicles’ rear suspension as a “ticking time bomb” bringing constant fear that it would break when traveling at high speeds. The protesters said that instead of just affixing plates to the axle, VW should replace the rear suspension or refund buyers.

Topics: vw, china

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