Volkswagen AG (VW) announced a recall yesterday of more than 384,000 vehicles in China to fix gearboxes following a report last week by state TV that criticized the quality of the German automaker’s cars.
Volkswagen said that problems with direct-shift gearboxes might cause a power interruption, but it said drivers could remain in control and maneuver to a stop. The company said it would repair gearboxes and install the latest software upgrades at no cost to owners. Many systems in modern cars are controlled electronically.
The recall applies to vehicles imported or manufactured in China between December 2008 and this month, the government’s product quality agency said in a separate statement. It said that included models such as the Sirocco, Golf Wagon, Jetta, Magotan, Touran and Passat.
A broadcast on Friday by Chinese state television to mark World Consumer Rights Day accused Volkswagen of selling cars with substandard gearbox systems, causing unspecified problems for some drivers.
The recall comes at a time of anxiety in China over product safety following a series of scandals over fake or tainted food, milk powder, medicines and other goods.
China is VW’s biggest market and sales have helped to buoy the company’s finances against weaker performance in other global markets.
Volkswagen sold 2.8 million vehicles in China last year for a 14 percent share of the market, according to LMC Automotive, a research firm.
Foreign firms are often regarded in China as more reliable than domestic brands, but any quality problems are widely publicized.
Separately, VW’s Taiwanese distributor said it has no recall plans.
“We recalled cars with the same gearboxes and upgraded their software last December and are waiting for further instructions to see if Volkswagen has other concerns about the gearboxes,” Beldare Motors (標達國際汽車) public relations manager Nelly Liao (廖英瑛) said by telephone.
Additional reporting by Camaron Kao
Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) yesterday launched its first electric bicycle, the Gogoro Eeyo 1, in Taiwan, after unveiling the bike in New York in late May and in France on Tuesday. The company said it would also introduce the series in other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands. The “Eeyo project” is the fourth of Gogoro’s eight projects that concentrate on smart transportation, which includes Gogoro’s electric scooter, battery swap system and electric scooter sharing service, company founder and chief executive officer Horace Luke (陸學森) told a media briefing in Taipei. “There are various types of city commuters. We will not
EXPERIMENTAL DRUG: While news about a COVID-19 vaccine is more eye-catching, developing a treatment would be more viable, the Senhwa boss said Senhwa Biosciences Inc (生華科) aims to raise NT$1.5 billion (US$50.57 million) by issuing 15 million new common shares in the third quarter of this year to fund the research of new drugs, including the experimental drug Silmitasertib for the treatment of COVID-19, the company said on Monday. That would be the firm’s largest fundraising effort after it raised more than NT$1.4 billion from an initial public offering on the Taipei Exchange (TPEX) in April 2017, chief financial officer Sarah Chang (張小萍) told the Taipei Times by telephone. The price of the new shares would depend on the firm’s average share price
NOT A PANACEA: Offering 5G services would not solve the problem of declining telecom incomes, chairman Sheih Chi-mau said, expecting a flat 5G telecom revenue Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信) yesterday became the nation’s first telecom to debut its 5G services, offering tiered tariffs that include a threshold of NT$599 and flat rates, as it aims to switch half of its subscribers to the 5G network within three years. Subscribers would have unlimited data transmission for monthly fees starting at NT$1,399 — the same flat rate as when the company launched its 4G service in 2014 — and they can subscribe to the highest-rate plan for NT$2,699 per month for faster data transmission speeds and larger bandwidth, the company said. Data transmission speeds would be within the range
ROW: A probe would determine if the rights of shareholders who were not allowed to vote yesterday had been violated, while the stock exchange also wants answers The election of board directors yesterday at Tatung Co (大同) sparked controversy after the company blocked some institutional and individual shareholders from participating in the general shareholders’ meeting, prompting the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) to announce that the vote would be investigated. Lin Kuo Wen-yen (林郭文艷) was re-elected as chairwoman of the household-appliance maker’s nine-member board, but prior to the vote she announced that several shareholders would not have voting rights. They were being denied a vote because they had contravened the Business Mergers and Acquisitions Act (企業併購法), and the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and