We had honestly not heard of asphalt (normally used to pave roads) being utilized as a sound deadening material, let alone by luxury automakers. However, the Administrative Center for Defective Products of China (DPAC) has announced that it will be launching an investigation into the use of the material by Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
It’s actually not the manufacturers directly, but rather their Chinese joint-ventures (Beijing-Benz, Brilliance-BMW and FAW-VW).
Inspectors from the institution discovered that some cars came with damping plates made from asphalt. It apparently is quite good at absorbing vibrations and noise, as well as waterproofing, but despite the fact that it can cause health issues for passengers, it was still used, and on high-end vehicles.
When heated, the material releases toxic chemicals into the air – and we assume that they are also accompanied by a faint smell of freshly paved road… Owners of the cars will be able to check if their car is affected, and then file a complaint on the DPAC’s official site.
The automakers have not been fined or charged with anything just yet, and they have been asked to reevaluate their operation, fix the issue and any of its implications. We’re curious to see if this piece of news will prompt a massive recall in months to come…
By Andrei Nedelea