China’s main state-owned television network again laid into Volkswagen A.G., this time alleging that the carmaker overlooked dangerous engine leaks in its Chinese cars.
China Central Television (CCTV) said Volkswagen customer service and dealerships ignored complaints of oil leaks pooling in the engine tray, an issue that third-party experts said could be a fire hazard, Reuters reported Thursday.
It’s the second damning report on Volkswagen this week in a series on foreign cars that hold sway over consumers and can drag down sales.
“We are aware of media reports regarding an engine oil issue and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused to our customers,” Volkswagen spokeswoman Larissa Braun said in an e-mailed statement.
She said Volkswagen is investigating.
“[The report] does pass the sniff test,” said James Feldkamp, chief executive of Shanghai-based consumer watchdog MingJian.
Volkswagen has recalled more than 93,000 2014 and 2015 models globally, including some models from subsidiaries Audi and Porsche, over fuel leak issues as well as nearly 38,000 in the United States, Feldkamp said.
“It looks entirely plausible that the engine problems they’re having with the leak are more widespread than originally reported,” he said.
CCTV said it found complaints of engine leaks in Volkswagen cars in Shanghai, Beijing and at least eight of China’s provinces. The report mentioned Magotan sedan and Tiguan SUV models.
When the owners featured in the program contacted dealers or Shanghai Volkswagen customer service, they were told such leakages were normal.
In 2013, CCTV reported on Volkswagen transmission gearboxes causing cars to speed up or slow down.
That report spurred a recall.
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