AutosUS holds back 1000 Volkswagen luxury cars over suspicions of forced labor in Chinese parts

US holds back 1000 Volkswagen luxury cars over suspicions of forced labor in Chinese parts

The Volkswagen Group of America terminal at the Freeport port in Texas.
The Volkswagen Group of America terminal at the Freeport port in Texas.
Images source: © Press materials | Volkswagen Group of America
11:46 AM EST, February 15, 2024

US customers eagerly awaiting their new Bentleys, Porsches, and Audis are advised to exercise patience. US customs officials identified a component within these thousand luxury vehicles from Volkswagen Group brands, manufactured in China through forced labor. This small electronic component hails from a factory in the western Xinjiang region of the country.

Current US regulations ban the importation of goods from this region, primarily due to the exploitation of labor, including forced labor from Muslim minorities. Financial Times reports indicate that Volkswagen partially owns the factory, which employs 197 workers, 24% of whom are minorities, including the persecuted Uyghur population.

Obraz
© Press materials | Volkswagen Group of America

Journalists from the Financial Times state that these cars have been stationed at US ports since January and will likely remain there for several weeks. The affected manufacturers plan to swap out the prohibited component with an equivalent from a different factory. Volkswagen's spokesperson, Dirk Amerr, asserts that the cars should reach customers by the end of March.

Regrettably, these are not the only accusations Volkswagen is currently facing regarding the use of forced labor in China. The German publication Handelsblatt recently reported on incidences of forced labor in creating a test track in the Turpan region. The project is being implemented on behalf of the SAIC-VW joint venture. SAIC owns several brands, including MG and Maxus, which also retailed in Poland.

Volkswagen released a statement expressing the company's serious approach to allegations of human rights violations. The company claimed that its ongoing investigation could end the relationship with the supplier if human rights infringements are confirmed.

Related content