An employee works on an assembly line producing automobiles at a factory in Qingdao, Shandong Province. Photo: Reuters

Chinese automakers, which hold a 41% share of sales in China, accounted for only 1% of the country’s total recalls in 2016, according to government figures. And analysts are concerned domestic carmakers are reluctant to initiate recalls.

“It’s definitely not normal for the domestic manufacturers to have 1% of the recalls – they’ve made rapid progress in recent years, but almost certainly remain behind the international manufacturers on quality,” Robin Zhu of Hong Kong-based Bernstein was quoted by the Financial Times as saying.

Zhu added that the wide gap between local brands’ share in sales and their recalls raised questions about uneven enforcement by Chinese regulators.