Sam Philip12 June 2009

Renaults: too dangerous for China?

Chinese authorities ban Renault sales… on safety grounds. Hmmm. And hmmm again…

You'll like this one. We're receiving reports that Chinese authorities have banned Renault from selling cars in China... because of ‘serious safety risks'.

Yes, that's the Laguna, Scenic and Megane - all of which gained five stars in Euro NCAP tests - have been judged too dangerous to go on sale in a country that produces the Brilliance BS6:

 

China's snappily named General Administration of Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine (GAQSIQ to its friends) doesn't appear to have specified exactly what the poor Renaults have done to fall foul of its doubtless stringent testing methods, but stated that Renaults 'have many times revealed quality problems'. GAQSIQ urged Renault to carry out a thorough check of its Chinese-market cars.

A Renault spokesman told the BBC that some problems had occurred during transport of storage of its cars to China, but not during manufacture.

Seems like there's a political angle to all this, though: the ban was announced just three days after honorary citizenship of Paris was granted to the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, after China last month warned France not to make more ‘errors' in Tibet. 

Renault sells less than 1,000 cars a year in China, so though the ban won't have much of a financial impact... well, it's a bit like being given a lecture on loyalty by Cristiano Ronaldo, isn't it? 

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