Aston Martin has expanded a safety recall to cover most of its sports cars built since late 2007 after finding out that a Chinese sub-supplier was using counterfeit plastic material in a part supplied to the British luxury car maker.
According to a Reuters news report, Aston Martin has said it will recall 17,590 cars including all of its left-hand-drive models built since November 2007 and all its right-hand-drive models manufactured since May 2012.
Material Did Not Meet Specifications
The automaker found that Shenzhen Kexiang Mould Tool Co Limited, a Chinese subcontractor that made the affected accelerator pedal arms was using counterfeit DuPont plastic material, according to documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Synthetic Plastic Raw Material Co Ltd of Dongguan supplied the material. The accelerator pedals in the affected vehicles might break increasing the risk of a crash. The engine would return to idle and the driver would then be unable to maintain or increase speed, according to NHTSA documents.
Company officials say there have been no reports of accidents or injuries related to the issue, but 22 failed parts had been reported. Aston Martin is now being supplied directly by a DuPont distributor as a result of this particular issue. The automaker plans to shift production of the pedal arms from China to the United Kingdom “as soon as possible.” Last year, Aston Martin recalled 2,832 cars worldwide to replace the accelerator pedal arm after finding out that the parts included material that did not meet specifications.
Safe Vehicles the Responsibility of Automakers
Auto manufacturers have a duty and an obligation to produce safe vehicles for their consumers. In this case, we’re talking about a luxury automaker that outsourced its operations to China. When an automaker starts using vehicle parts produced by sub-contractors, there is no telling when they lose control of the quality of the parts that are being supplied.
Another example we saw last year was when several automakers recalled millions of vehicles that had defective airbags supplied by Takata Corp. Quality control, regardless of outsourcing, is the responsibility of automakers.
Car manufacturers, who breach that duty and put profits before the safety of their consumers can and should be held accountable for auto defect liabilities leading to injuries, damages, and losses sustained by consumers.