China’s quality regulator announced on Monday it was “highly concerned” about the way Volkswagen Ag rigged some of its diesel-powered models to fool regulators when performing emissions tests.
The quality watchdog announced appropriate measures would be taken, though the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) did not detail specific actions to be taken besides asking the problem to be resolved as fast as possible. But in a separate statement, the environment ministry did claim it would launch a probe into VW vehicles sold in China. The largest auto market in the world is only reacting now because diesel-powered cars are not popular – though analysts and industry experts believe the diesel cheating scandal engulfing VW could still modify the purchasing perception of certain Chinese motorists. “Their sales are already weak this year thanks to the slowdown in China’s general economy. If VW sales took a further beating from the current emissions scandal, that would further complicate their position globally following the scandal,” comments Yale Zhang, head of Shanghai-based consulting firm Automotive Foresight.
AQSIQ also announced the German automaker has decided to recall 1,950 imported cars in China, mainly imported Tiguan SUVs, because they’re also equipped with the illegal software that cheats at emissions testing results performed in laboratories. Volkswagen’s two Chinese joint ventures that handle local manufacturing announced last month their cars are free of any such “defeat” devices. But China – an automotive power now – is another crucial country to launch a probe into VW’s wrongdoings since the dieselgate crisis has rocked the 78-year company.