Continental revamped compliance team after air-conditioning parts woe

By REUTERS | 23 September 2022

BERLIN: Continental said today it had revamped its compliance team, including making personnel and technical changes, after discovering some parts for car air-conditioning systems had fallen below expected quality standards.

The German manufacturer was responding to a report in Spiegel magazine which alleged the company had supplied dirty parts for air-conditioning systems over 15 years and quality control tests had been manipulated to conceal the issue.

Continental did not directly respond to the alleged manipulation of tests, but said there had been no risk to vehicle occupants from the issue.

"The deviations in the air-conditioning hoses were identified by Continental employees themselves and then reported to the compliance organisation," a spokesperson said via email.

"We have drawn personnel and technical consequences. Depending on the results of the investigation, others may follow."

"We immediately informed the responsible authorities and the affected customers," the person added.

A spokesman for the state prosecutor's office in Hanover, where Continental is based, said it was not investigating the matter.

Without detailing its sources, Spiegel said an internal investigation at Continental initiated at the end of 2021 found the test results had been regularly manipulated on a large scale.

At the end of 2021, an internal Continental task force came to the conclusion that 69.1% of the series production of the affected parts at that time did not achieve the desired cleanliness values, the magazine added.

It listed Continental customers that purchase the hoses in question as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Renault as well as Asian manufacturers.

The Continental spokesman said that at the end of 2021 it reorganised its compliance team, "with a proven expert at the helm."