Reports have surfaced that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has recalled over 23,000 Chery and Great Wall cars over concerns that their engine and exhaust gaskets contained asbestos.
The heat-resistant carcinogen has been illegal in Australia since 2004, although the ACCC concedes that since the gaskets are sealed tightly in the components, there are no immediate health risks.
Dealers have been told to stop selling the cars in question, and owners have been warned not to tamper with the gaskets. Upon recall, warning stickers will be placed in the engine bays of the affected vehicles, and the contaminated parts will be replaced with asbestos-free ones when they eventually wear out.
A Great Wall spokesman told Bloomberg that the recall “won’t have much impact on our export and overseas expansion plans.”
Great Wall began exporting vehicles to Australia in 2009; Chery followed suit two years later.