The purpose of a company to issue a recall of a product is the realization that it could prove harmful to the consumer. Sometimes the company comes to this realization on their own, while other times it is in response to criticism coming from the general public or the media.
The German automaker Volkswagen has announced that they plan on voluntarily recalling an undisclosed number of vehicles in China. The reason for the recall is due to a defective gearbox system. However, the decision by the Germany-based carmaker for the recall to take place reportedly was in response to analysis aired from China’s national state-run television broadcaster, CCTV.
Apparently, the powerful state-run broadcast decided on a Friday-night episode to report on particular Volkswagen cars as well as criticizing customer-service practices of Apple Inc. According to the report on CCTV’s “3.15” investigative special, the recall is centered on Chinese owners of Volkswagen vehicles fitted with a technology that uses two gearboxes. This system is designed to help improve fuel economy as well as enhance gear changes. However, owners have reported problems with the technology such as experiencing sudden acceleration, abnormal vibrations and loss of power.
“Apple is dedicated to making the best products in the world and delivering unmatched customer service everywhere we do business,” Carolyn Wu, the company’s spokeswoman in Beijing said in a phone interview with Bloomberg. “Our team is always striving to exceed our customers’ expectations, and we take any customer concerns very seriously.”
Volkswagen spokesman in China, Christopher Ludewig, spoke with and told the Wall Street Journal that the company will fully cooperate with the proper authorities and that Volkswagen would announce details of the models and volume involved and that information will be released either later on Monday or Tuesday.
However, Volkswagen models including CC, Golf, Magotan and Sagitar were noted as having the defective direct-shift gearbox systems in the television program.
Volkswagen is able to build cars in China due to a partnership they have with FAW Group and SAIC Motor Corp. The goal is to increase and almost double production capacity in the country so that within the next five years, they will reach 4 million. However, Volkswagen needs to make sure the recall is taken seriously and accomplished in a timely manner due to recent legislation approved in China.
With the new legislation introduced this past year, specific watchdog agencies will have the authority to order investigations as well as the ability to impose fines if importers and manufacturers are unable to recall the defective products in a timely manner.
Amid the growing public discontent over safety and quality, the authority of the drug and food regulator was expanded last week by the nation’s legislature.
Though the recall has not specified the exact number of vehicles involved, the company’s data from May 2012 shows that they sold roughly 1 million DSG-equipped vehicles in China.