GM recalls nearly 1.5 million cars in China over fuel pump bracket

GM's recall covers the high-volume Buick Excelle and Chevrolet Sail.

Photo credit: BLOOMBERG
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SHANGHAI (Reuters) -- General Motors' China joint venture will recall close to 1.5 million vehicles due to potential safety issues in one of the biggest recalls in the world's biggest autos market.

Shanghai General Motors Co., GM's joint venture with SAIC Motor Corp., will recall about 1.46 million Buick and Chevrolet models produced locally due to issues with a bracket that secures the fuel pump, the country's quality watchdog said on Friday.

Some of the recalled vehicles include the Chevy Sail which is exported to emerging markets, a Shanghai-based GM official said.

Separately, the watchdog said Ford Motor Co.'s joint venture with Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. will recall close to 81,000 of its Kuga cars over a steering part.

Yale Zhang, head of Shanghai-based consulting firm Automotive Foresight, said the GM recall was big in number because both the affected models -- the Buick Excelle and the Chevrolet Sail -- are high-volume, mainstream cars, but the cause of the recall didn't appear too serious.

"GM has warned that the affected component might crack after long use and lead to fuel leakage, but in real life it doesn't appear to have happened," Zhang said. "There're so many recalls these days, and some automakers call back products proactively more as a precaution. In this case, the recall shouldn't affect GM's reputation in China that much."

U.S. carmakers in China have generally outpaced growth in the overall market, boosted by their popular product lineups and partly as Japanese rivals were hit last year by anti-Japan protests following a territorial dispute between Beijing and Tokyo.

GM sold 2.89 million vehicles in China in January-November, up 11.4 percent from a year earlier, while Ford sold 840,975 vehicles, up 51 percent.

Total China vehicle sales rose 13.5 percent in January-November to 19.86 million, with car sales up 15.1 percent to 16.15 million, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Last month, Volkswagen's Chinese unit recalled 640,309 vehicles to check if they were using mineral oil rather than synthetic oil to avoid gearbox-related electronic flaws. That was part of a broader global recall over a range of issues with several models. It also pulled 207,778 Tiguan compact SUVs off the road due to a risk of a partial light malfunction.

GM makes vehicles in China in partnership with both FAW Group and SAIC. Ford has manufacturing and sales ventures in China with Changan Automobile and Jiangling Motors Corp.

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