By Rose Yu
SHANGHAI—BMW AG’s Chinese joint venture will recall more than 140,000 cars because of defective plugs in the electric power steering system that could pose safety hazards, China’s quality regulator said Monday.
The 143,215 BMW cars were built by BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd. between Aug. 24, 2009 and Aug. 31, 2012, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China said on its website. BMW Brilliance is a 50-50 car-making joint venture between BMW and Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd.
The recall is the latest blow to the German luxury car maker as it is fighting to keep its position in China amid fiercer competition and slower growth in the luxury segment.
On July 26, China’s environment ministry rejected a plan by BMW Brilliance to expand one of its factories in the world’s largest car market, citing environmental concerns.
The quality regulator said that in an extreme scenario, water may enter the plug in the electric power steering system if an affected car passed over flooded streets, causing the plug to rust. The rusty plug would hinder electric power steering, posing safety hazards.
The recall will take effect Sept. 23, and BMW Brilliance will change the electrical plugs for affected cars for free, the statement said. Officials at BMW, Brilliance China as well as the joint venture were’t immediately available to comment. (Reprinted from WSJ)