What’s the real China price?
Luxury auto maker Aston Martin, which sell its cars for close to $200,000 each, is recalling 5,001 cars built since 2007, its entire sales to the United States in that period, due to a faulty brake pedal component made in China.
According to a document filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Washington, D.C., the Tier One supplier of the complete throttle pedal assembly is an English company called Precision Varionic International. Manufacturing of the pedal arm was subcontracted to a Tier Two in Hong Kong named Fast Forward Tooling. The molding of the pedal arm was subcontracted to a Chinese company called Shenzen Kexiang Mould Tool, dba Cousun International. The plastic resin was supplied by Synthetic Plastic Raw Material Co. of Plastic Logistics Center City in China.
Aston Martin’s engineering specifications require the pedal arms to be made from DuPont nylon 6. After a pedal arm failure was reported in the United States, tests showed that the pedal arms were made of a mixture of nylon 6 not produced by DuPont and nylon 6/6.
The two resins have very different melting points.
Adding to the chaos, Aston Martin made this statement in its recall letter: “The errors in the temperature settings found on the injection moulding machine at the Tier Three supplier meant that both materials could be processed.”
OK, so not only was the pedal arm made of a counterfeit material of basically unknown mechanical characteristics, but the pedals were molded incorrectly as well. Molding at parameters not stipulated in the engineering specifications or recommended by the resin producer could lead to residual stresses and other problems unrelated to the materials’ issues. The result could be catastrophic failure.
The Tier Three supplier states in promotional materials on the Internet that: “Our main clients are from America and Canada, England, Germany, Sweden & Japan.” Maybe that’s a lie, but it’s still very scary.