BMW To Be Investigated by US Senate For Hiring Banned Chinese Suppliers Linked to Child Labor

By Thea Felicity

Jun 10, 2024 01:05 PM EDT

Scholz Visits BMW Factory
MUNICH, GERMANY - DECEMBER 05: The BMW logo at the BMW tower during German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visits the BMW Group car factory on December 05, 2023 in Munich, Germany. His visit is taking place as Scholz's government wrestles with a federal budget crisis stemming from a recent Federal Constitutional Court ruling.
(Photo : Leonhard Simon/Getty Images)

The Senate Finance Committee chair has announced an expansion of the probe into BMW's use of components from a blacklisted Chinese supplier following revelations that BMW imported thousands of vehicles containing banned parts. 

According to Reuters, Senator Ron Wyden sent a letter to BMW North America CEO Sebastian Mackensen seeking clarification on the automaker's supply chain examination and actions to address the issue. 

READ NEXT: US Chip Export Ban Is Taking a Toll on Chinese AI Startups

Forced Labor by BMW and Automotive Companies

In a recent VCPost report, BMW, which has taken steps to halt the importation of affected products, faces scrutiny over compliance with the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act after sourcing components from a banned supplier. 

Alongside BMW, Jaguar Land Rover and Volkswagen are also under investigation for using parts from a Chinese supplier linked to forced Uyghur labor. 

Despite regulations banning goods from such labor, the automakers' supply chains included components sourced from Sichuan Jingweida Technology Group, which analysts call a "systemic failure" in ensuring ethical sourcing.

The report reveals that parts made by detained Uyghurs in Chinese camps found their way into vehicles imported into the US, prompting calls for stronger enforcement measures from Senator Wyden. 

The US Senate can conduct further investigations, hold hearings, and propose legislative measures to strengthen regulations and enforcement against companies implicated in using forced labor. Sanctions and penalties are expected.

READ MORE: US Report Says BMW, Jaguar, and Volkswagen Used Illegal Chinese Parts With Links to Child Labor

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