GM recalls 1.5 million cars in China over fuel pump bracket

Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:44pm EST
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SHANGHAI (Reuters) - General Motors Co's (GM.N: Quote) China joint venture is recalling 1.46 million cars due to a defect with the fuel pump brackets, in one of the largest safety recalls in the world's biggest auto market.

The cars are made locally by Shanghai General Motors Co Ltd, GM's venture with SAIC Motor Corp (600104.SS: Quote). GM said on Friday the bracket may crack after long-term use and in extreme cases could lead to fuel leaks.

The recall, which was announced on Friday by China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, affects two of GM's most popular models in China, the Buick Excelle compact car and the Chevrolet Sail subcompact.

More than 1.2 million Excelle made between 2006 and 2011 and more than 240,000 Sail subcompacts built between 2009 and 2011 are in the recall.

Separately, Ford Motor Co's (F.N: Quote) joint venture with Chongqing Changan Automobile Co Ltd (000625.SZ: Quote) will recall close to 81,000 of its Kuga crossovers over a steering part, China's quality control agency said.

The leading U.S. automaker by sales, GM is facing stiffer competition in China from competitors such as Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE: Quote).

Yale Zhang, head of Shanghai-based consulting firm Automotive Foresight, said GM was unlikely to sustain a big reputational hit in China because of the recall.

"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 are so many recalls these days, and some automakers call back products proactively more as a precaution," Zhang said. "In this case, the recall shouldn't affect GM's reputation in China that much."   Continued...

Lines of cars are pictured during a rush hour traffic jam in central Shanghai July 11, 2013. REUTERS/Aly Song