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Investigation shows FAW-Volkswagen new Sagitar unsafe

Staff writer |
AW-Volkswagen's New Sagitar compact cars with coupling rods in rear axles are defective and pose safety hazards to users, China's national consumer quality watchdog said after an investigation which began in August 2014.

The trailing arms on the rear suspension may deform in the case of collision and the fatigue life of the arms will drop substantially as the deformation increases, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) said in a statement.

Among 457 cases of deformation or rupture tracked by the AQSIQ, 312 cases, or 68.3 percent of the total, were caused by serious collisions, and 54 were caused by slight collisions or bumps.

Following mounting complaints from Sagitar owners in China, FAW-Volkswagen announced a massive recall of Sagitar and Beetle vehicles in October 2014 and placed metal plates on the trailing arms to ensure the proper operation in case of a rupture.

However, the move dissatisfied drivers who had hoped for a more thorough solution by replacing the whole rear suspension.

The investigation found the metal plate raised the rods' resistance to deformation and lower the possibility of deformation, but still did not eliminate the problem.

The company claimed the metal plate would produce a "continuous warning noise" in the case of ruptures, but the AQSIQ's experiment shows the noise may be hard to detect on flat roads.

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