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What would 007 think? Aston Martin recalls 17,590 vehicles due to defect

Aston Martin has been forced to recall 75 per cent of its sports cars built since late 2007 after finding Chinese supplier was using fake plastic in accelerator pedal arms
  • @ArmitageJim

It sounds like a scene from a James Bond movie: 007 is making his escape from his villainous pursuers in his stylish Aston Martin, only to find that when he hits the throttle the pedal breaks, leaving his foot pumping at air.

The trouble is, for real-life Aston Martin drivers today, it could be true.

Aston Martin has been forced to recall 75 per cent of its sports cars built since late 2007 after finding that a Chinese supplier was using fake plastic material in its accelerator pedal arms. The weakened material risked snapping when the driver pressed it.

The car-maker is now bringing all the pedal manufacturing process back to the UK where it can keep a closer eye on the production and materials being used.

The issue highlights the seemingly widespread problem of counterfeiting in China – and its potentially dangerous effects.

A total of 22 pedal arms have snapped on Aston Martins since the company introduced a new design in November 2007, although no accidents have occurred as a result.

Today, it launched a recall of 17,590 cars, including all left-hand-drives built since 2007 and right-hand-drives built since May 2012. The Vanquish is not affected.

Aston Martin found that Shenzhen Kexiang Mould Tool, a Chinese subcontractor that moulds the affected accelerator pedal arms, was using counterfeit plastic material supplied by Synthetic Plastic Raw Material of Dongguan, according to documents filed with US regulators.

It had previously recalled smaller numbers and in October last year issued an order to the supplier to use only Dupont's version of a plastic called PA6.

However, two months later, one of the newly made pedal arms snapped after being fitted by a dealer in Connecticut. Aston Martin and Dupont executives went to the factory in China and, after tests, found that the plastic, delivered in bags labelled Dupont PA6, was counterfeit.

The spokeswoman said the company would continue using other Chinese-made components.