GM to recall 2.5 mn vehicles due to faulty airbag inflators in China

General Motors and its joint venture in China, Shanghai GM, will recall over 2.5 million vehicles due to faulty airbag inflators, China's top quality regulator said.

The vehicles come with airbag inflators produced by troubled Japanese manufacturer Takata Corp according to the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

From 29 October, the companies will recall 13,492 imported Saab and Opel vehicles, and from 29 December another recall will start involving over 2.51 million Chevrolet and Buick cars.

The recall, announced on Friday, comes after a similar recall last week by Volkswagen AG and its Chinese joint ventures of 4.86 million vehicles in China due to potential issues with Takata air bags.

State news agency Xinhua quoted the quality watchdog as saying the faulty airbag inflator involved 37 car manufacturers and over 20 million vehicles, of which 24 carmakers had recalled 10.59 million vehicles by June end.

Takata air bags, linked to at least 16 deaths and 180 injuries globally, can potentially explode with excessive force and spray shrapnel. The defect led has led to the automotive industry's biggest recall in history and the eventual bankruptcy of the Japanese maker.

According to commentators, China as the world's largest car market is of great importance to both GM and VW.

With the 3.83 million cars it sold in China last year, General Motors emerged as the second-largest foreign manufacturer in the market after Volkswagen.

GM and Shanghai GM will start withdrawing vehicles fitted with the potentially faulty airbags starting next month according to the watchdog.

The faulty airbags would be replaced for free.

Takata has recalled around 100 million airbags produced for some of the world's largest automakers, which inlcude 70 million in the US.