Beijing - China's quality inspection agency has halted the import of several models made by French carmaker Renault, citing what it called "serious safety risks" and failure to meet technical standards.
'Unsafe' Renault imports banned
The General Administration of Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) said on its website the ban covered Renault's Laguna Ph2, Scenic, Megane Ph2 and Megane Ph2 Coupe-Cabriolet.
"In recent import inspections, we have repeatedly found batches of passenger vehicles made by the French Renault ... do not conform with our country's mandatory standards and relevant technical regulations, and there are serious safety risks," it said in a statement.
A Renault spokeswoman confirmed that the company had identified problems related to transportation and storage on around 160 vehicles. The problems - one of which affected shock absorbers - were not related to manufacturing, she said.
Renault is in touch with the Chinese authorities to reassure them that processes have been improved, and is working with them to ensure that the ban is lifted, the spokeswoman said. She was not able to estimate how long it would take for the ban to be lifted.
AQSIQ also said that in the past year Renault cars "have many times revealed quality problems".
The statement, however, did not specify what safety problems it had identified. The quality watchdog urged Renault to carefully examine all vehicles exported to China to ensure the security of products to Chinese customers.
The Renault spokeswoman said China represented a very small market for the French manufacturer, with fewer than 900 cars sold there in 2008.