Aston Martin recalls 17,590 cars due to counterfeit material

Wed Feb 5, 2014 1:46pm EST
 
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By Ben Klayman

DETROIT (Reuters) - Aston Martin expanded a recall on Wednesday to cover most of its sports cars built since late 2007 after discovering a Chinese sub-supplier was using counterfeit plastic material in a part supplied to the British luxury sports carmaker.

Owned by Kuwaiti and private equity investors, Aston Martin said it would now recall 17,590 cars, including all of its left-hand drive models built since November 2007 and all right-hand drive models built since May 2012.

That affects about 75 percent of all vehicles built in that period, a spokeswoman said. Its Vanquish model is not affected.

Aston Martin found that Shenzhen Kexiang Mould Tool Co Limited, a Chinese subcontractor that moulds the affected accelerator pedal arms, was using counterfeit DuPont plastic material, according to documents filed with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The material was supplied by Synthetic Plastic Raw Material Co Ltd of Dongguan, according to the documents.

The cars are being recalled from model years 2008 through 2014 because the accelerator pedal arm may break, increasing the risk of a crash, according to the NHTSA documents. The engine would return to idle and the driver would be unable to maintain or increase speed, according to the documents.

Aston Martin spokeswoman Sarah Calam said there had been no reports of accidents or injuries related to the issue and 22 failed parts had been reported. She said the financial impact to the automaker was small, but did not quantify the total.

The cost of the recall is of great interest because Aston Martin has struggled to fund the development of a range of new vehicles while rivals like Bentley, owned by Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE: Quote), and Rolls Royce, owned by BMW (BMWG.DE: Quote), have the ability to draw on the resources of their parent firms.   Continued...

 
An Aston Martin logo is seen on a car inside the company's showroom in Doha October 19, 2013. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad