VW AG, the second largest automaker in the world, heavily reliant on the Chinese auto market, the biggest on the planet, was hit once more by the main state-owned television network in a second program that covered company wrongdoings.
The government-controlled television targeted with a second expose the automaker this week, claiming this time that the carmaker decided to neglect dangerous engine leaks found in its Chinese autos. Foreign companies such as Volkswagen, which currently dominates the auto sector of the auto market, can be easily hit by the programs, which influence a big part of the population and can bring a massive sales disruption for the company. The China Central Television (CCTV) program that aired yesterday claimed that the German carmaker, its customer service and dealerships overlooked customer complaints of oil leaks that allowed the liquid to gather in the engine’s tray, with third-party experts deeming the defect as a serious fire hazard.
The company immediately responded to the allegations saying it will always take such reports very seriously and a probe on the matter had already been launched internally. According to James Feldkamp, CEO of Shanghai-based consumer watchdog MingJian, the report could be valid. The automaker has already brought back to services in safety campaigns around the world 93,000 units of 2014 and 2015 models and another 38,000 in the US, including from the Audi and Porsche luxury brands for fuel leak faults. The CCTV said the complaints were found in Shanghai, Beijing and at least eight of China’s provinces.