China Probes Toyota Over Alleged Sale of Uncertified Parts

An inspection of two Toyota dealership storehouses in Zhejiang province found more than 1,700 auto parts lacked the required certification and inspection reports.

Authorities in eastern China have launched an investigation into Toyota Motor Corp over the alleged sale of uncertified auto parts, state-run media reported. An inspection of two Toyota dealership storehouses in Zhejiang province found more than 1,700 auto parts lacked the required certification and inspection reports, Xinhua news agency said on April 7.

Pan Wei, an official with the Zhejiang Provincial Administration for Industry and Commerce, was quoted as saying companies in China were not allowed to sell goods without the certification.

The two storehouses are run by FAW Toyota Motor Sales Co, a joint venture between China's FAW Group and Toyota while the spare parts were supplied by Toyota Motor Warehousing and Trading Co, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyota.

Toyota China spokesman Liu Peng said the company was looking into the allegations with its relevant units.

Officials at FAW Toyota Motor Sales were not immediately available for comment, while Shanghai-based Toyota Motor Warehousing and Trading declined to comment.

Earlier this year, Toyota recalled more than 75,000 RAV4 sport utility vehicles made in China due to faulty accelerator pedals, part of a global recall of more than eight million vehicles.

The trade and commerce administration in Zhejiang said Toyota paid compensation of 200-300 yuan (US$29-44) to each driver of the RAV4 model recalled in the province.

The agency called it the first such compensation offered in China, where auto sales surged past those in the United States in 2009 to make it the world's biggest car market.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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