Aston Martin recall over dodgy pedals 'made in China'

Cheap plastic parts from mainland found in three models of the luxury car made since 2007

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 February, 2014, 4:47am
UPDATED : Friday, 07 February, 2014, 12:24pm

About 10 cars in Hong Kong manufactured by British luxury brand Aston Martin will be recalled after a mainland supplier that moulds its throttle pedals was found to have been using low-grade plastic for the past six years.

Winnie Ho, managing director of Chai Wan used-car dealer Mine and Yours Motors, which sells the brand famously favoured by the fictional spy James Bond, said she found the news "ridiculous".

"You pay a few million to get an Aston Martin, and then you find the parts are made on the mainland. Even worse, it's counterfeit," she said.

Globally, 17,590 Aston Martin cars need to be recalled. The affected right-hand drive vehicles, as in Hong Kong, were produced between May 2012 and December 2013. The defective left-hand drive cars were built between November 2007 and December 2013.

The firm reassured customers that they had not received any reports of accidents due to the defect. A spokeswoman said the recall affected about 75 per cent of all vehicles built in that period.

Alex Li, service manager at Aston Martin's Hong Kong dealer MF Jebsen, based in Happy Valley, said the affected models in the city are the V8 Vantage, Virage and Rapide.

The new Vanquish models are not affected. Canto-pop singer Eason Chan Yik-shun reportedly owns a Virage built in 2012.

Li said they had started the recall procedure at the end of last year, and had informed the Transport Department.

According to papers filed with the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the company found subcontractor Shenzhen Kexiang Mould Tool Co, which moulds accelerator pedal arms, used cheap plastic instead of the superior DuPont material stipulated.

James Kong Yat-hung, vice-president of the Automobile Association, said he was not surprised that Aston Martin had outsourced the manufacture of some parts to the mainland.

"From 2000, many car firms started to outsource manufacturing work globally. Some suppliers may have produced samples of good quality and then when it comes to the actual manufacturing, they use inferior ones," Kong said.

The Shenzhen supplier could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Agence France-Presse, Reuters