Chinese “counterfeit DuPont plastic” prompted Aston Martin’s giant recall

China’s Shenzhen Kexiang Mould Tool Co. Ltd., the company that made the faulty part that forced Aston Martin to recall all the sports cars it built since late 2007, has a lot of other customers too.

The Chinese company, which made Aston Martin’s accelerator pedal arms, “was using counterfeit DuPont plastic material,” Aston Martin said in a letter to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The company was actually the “third tier” subcontractor—Aston Martin got its throttle pedals from British company, which hired a Hong Kong company, which hired the Shenzhen company. The faulty material was supplied in turn by “Synthetic Plastic Raw Material Co.,” Aston Martin said. Aston Martin is recalling 17,590 cars.

A long chain of subcontractors is common in global outsourcing, and whether Shenzen Kexiang Mould Tool knew the plastic was counterfeit or not is unclear. A phone number on the company’s website went unanswered, as did an e-mail to its sales representative.

Shenzen Kexiang operates as Cousun Industrial on the English-language version of its website, where it says it was “established in 2003 by Mr. Zhang who is an experienced mold builder and designer.” The company’s “main” customers are from “America and Canada, England, Germany, Sweden and Japan,” its website says.

The website displays a selection of the parts it makes for the automotive industry:
Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 6.01.43 PM

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 6.01.43 PM

Beyond autos, the firm makes parts for the medical industry, electronics, home appliances and industrial applications. The company promises a “comprehensive quality control system,” which “guarantees only defect-free parts and components to be shipped to our customer.”

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