China lines up faulty US products

10 Oct 2007

Mumbai: Stung by a storm of criticism over lax product safety rules, the Chinese authorities have struck back at the US finding faults with products sent to China from some of America''s largest companies.

These include turbines from General Electric Co, ultrasound machines from a US unit of Philips electronics NV of the Netherlands, and farm machinery from Deere and co, Li Changjiang, China''s top quality-control official said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

Li who heads China''s national inspection service presented a list of defects and dangers that have turned up in products shipped by US companies, reports said.

The problems range from mislabeled pacemakers to engine problems to pesticide-laden apples grown in Washington State to defective homing pigeons, infected with disease, the report quoted the official as saying.

In some cases, the companies involved had previously acknowledged and responded to complaints from China about the items, the paper added.

Earlier this year, Li said, Chinese quality-control inspectors discovered a broken crankshaft on an imported cotton-picking machine made by Deere. An inspection later attributed the problem, in model No. 9970, to a design defect. Deere ultimately agreed to replace the parts on the $17.9-million shipment of 100 massive, green-and-yellow machines.

Li''s list also cited shipments of more than 430 Hummer trucks, models H2 and H3, manufactured by General Motors Corp. of Detroit - and imported into China by unknown third-party suppliers - that Li''s office says didn''t meet Chinese safety requirements.

A GM spokesman in Shanghai, however, said it doesn''t import or sell Hummer trucks in China.

Li''s list also included a May shipment of pacemakers manufactured by St Jude Medical Inc., a medical-supply company based in St. Paul, Minn. The Chinese government said tests showed "hidden dangers" in the pacemakers because voltage settings on the box didn''t match the voltage settings programmed into the devices.

US officials, however said they were unaware of the examples cited by the Chinese government, but defended the safety of US products. They also defended US safety record, the report said.

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