Banned Chinese Tech Found In America

( – A congressional report highlighted that BMW imported roughly 8,000 Mini Coopers that were made using parts supplied by banned companies.

The company in question was accused of using Uyghur slave labor in western China which the Chinese government denies. Nonetheless, BMW acknowledged the finding and claimed it will replace all the parts in question in a subsequent email.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden’s staff produced the report which claimed BMW manufactured and imported 8,000 Mini Coopers into the U.S. that contained parts provided by banned companies. The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) bans products from China’s Xinjiang region due to concerns that they’re manufactured with slave labor. China has been accused of interning its Muslim minority population and putting them to work in camps.

Wyden’s staff specifically highlighted California-based auto parts supplier Bourns, Inc as having sourced parts from Sichuan Jingweida Technology Group (JWD). JWD was added to the list of banned companies in December of last year. BMW didn’t take notice until April, and by then thousands of Minis with the questionable components had already been imported.

Bourns sold the JWD produced parts to Lear Corp, who supplies Jaguar Land Rover and BMW. Bourns sent a letter in January notifying Lear that the parts were now banned in the U.S. The parts in question are electrical components called LAN transformers.

Lear was quoted in the report as indicating they had notified their clients accordingly and began to source parts from a new company. Jaguar Land Rover handled the situation appropriately, isolating all the parts before incorporation with its vehicles and flagging them for destruction.

BMW only stopped their use after repeated queries by Senators regarding their use of the parts by Lear and Lear’s customers. Representatives for Lear said that they take the use of forced labor seriously and that they have no direct relationship with JWD.

Volkswagen similarly held thousands of cars at the port earlier this year, including high end Porsche, Audi, and Bentley vehicles because they also contained parts manufactured by JWD.

Copyright 2024,