China Bans Some Renault Imports

BEIJING (AP) -- China's quality watchdog said it has banned certain models of cars by French automaker Renault SA after finding "severe safety problems."

China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said it has decided to stop allowing the import of Renault's Laguna PH2, the Scenic, the Megane PH2 and Megane PH2 Coupe-Cabriolet.

The watchdog said in a notice on its Web site that the cars failed to meet China's standard safety requirements, but did not say what the problems were.

When asked about the announcement, Renault spokeswoman Gita Roux said a number of cars were damaged during transportation and storage. She described the damage as small and affecting old stock, but could not be specific.

"It's not linked to manufacturing," Roux said. "We have taken measures to make sure it doesn't happen again. We are sending a team of experts on site."

She said that Renault seeks to comply fully with the requirements of Chinese authorities, adding that last year the company sold 894 cars in China.