AUSTRALIA – An Australian importer has recalled 23,000 cars made by China’s Great Wall Motor Co., Ltd. and Chery Automobile Co. after deadly asbestos fibres were found in engines and exhaust gaskets, reported Reuters on August 15, citing an announcement from Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the country’s consumer watchdog.
ACCC said it was monitoring the recall and had asked the importer, Ateco Automotive, to replace affected components in the cars. Dealers were also asked to stop selling the affected cars.
A spokesman for Ateco said the company was disappointed with the finding and had been assured by Great Wall and Chery that production had been halted and measures put in place to fix the problem.
A safety investigation into the pair’s products was sparked after Australian Customs and Border Protection officers detected asbestos in imported spare parts.
Asbestos is a prohibited hazardous substance in Australia which has banned the importation or use of it since 2004.
Both Great Wall and Chery are leading indigenous carmakers in China and sell budget cars in the Australian market.