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BMW China joint venture hit by massive recall

Chinese automobile safety inspectors have ordered German carmaker BMW to recall more than 100,000 cars over steering problems. The cars have been built in a joint venture with Chinese firm Brilliance.

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The recall was due to start next month and would affect 143,000 cars from BMW's 5 series, built in a partnership with Brilliance China Automotive, China's car safety authorities said in a statement issued Monday.

BMW Brilliance was ordered to replace defective plugs in the power steering system which could cause safety hazards, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China said.

Last month, the 50-50 joint venture between the German luxury carmaker and China's high-end manufacturer was already hit by a government decision, halting the planned expansion of one of the partnership's two factories in China.

On July 26, China's environment ministry rejected approval for an expansion scheme worth 9.2 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) on grounds that the plant violated environmental laws.

China is currently BMW's biggest single market as it took in 15 percent more cars in the first six months of 2013. BMW's top-of-the-range 5 series model is selling best in the Asian country.

uhe/kms (AFP, AP)

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