Uyghur-Made Electrical Parts May Delay Your Porsche, Audi, Bentley

Jackson Wheeler
5 Min Read


  • Delivery of certain Audi, Porsche, and Bentley models is on “hold” at US ports because they have a subcomponent allegedly made by Uyghur slave labor in northwestern China.
  • The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act effective June 21, 2022, restricts import of the part, according to the US Customs and Border Protection website.
  • Some 13,000 vehicles are believed to be affected—the vast majority of them Audis but also a number of Porsches and Bentleys. (Audi Q8 e-tron and Porsche Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo pictured above.)

You may have to wait until the end of March to take delivery of your new Audi, Porsche, or Bentley thanks to a “hold” on more than 13,000 vehicles at US ports because they have a subcomponent allegedly made by Uyghur slave labor in Xinjiang, located in far northwestern China.

The problem surfaced in mid-February as reported by the Financial Times, but few details have been forthcoming, including the exact number of cars or which specific models are affected.

“Deliveries are continuing,” a Volkswagen Group spokesperson said in a statement Feb. 15. “The plan is to have all cars delivered to dealers by the end of March.”

The part allegedly is made by slave labor in a factory located in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China, according to the FT.

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act effective June 21, 2022, restricts import of the part, according to the US Customs and Border Protection website.

In an earlier statement, VW Group said the holdup “relates to a small electrical component—part of a larger control unit—which is in the process of being replaced as parts arrive. Deliveries continue, however some unavoidable delays may occur, for which we apologize. We are contacting each customer to keep them informed.”

bentley continental gt speed edition 12 silver car driving on a road

Bentley

Bentley Continental GT Speed Edition 12.

Xinjiang, where the small electrical component apparently comes from, is located far from most of China’s auto and auto parts production, says Michael Dunne, of Dunne Insights.

“Most of China’s auto industry is concentrated on the east coast thousands of miles from Xinjiang,” Dunne told Autoweek via email.

“About 15 years ago the central government began to encourage investments in the far western provinces to distribute economic development more evenly. Volkswagen built a plant there, which was unusual at the time, made no economic sense, and was seen as a move to win favor with the central government.”

The initial Financial Times report said about 1000 Porsches were affected, plus a greater number of Audis and fewer Bentleys. A later update by German press agency dpa international suggested the number is substantially higher.

“According to German business newspaper Handelsblatt,” dpa reports, “13,000 new cars from VW subsidiaries Audi and Porsche, as well as the VW-owned luxury brand Bentley, are affected by the issue.”

If about 12,000 of those 13,000 vehicles affected are Audis, that represents about three-fifths of total sales of its US model line for one month, which averages about 19,000 units per month based on 2023 US sales.

Porsche 911 sales totaled 10,204 in the US for all of 2023, so “about 1000” represents a bit more than one month’s supply of that model, for example.

If you are a customer waiting for a new Audi, Porsche, or Bentley affected by the hold, we want to hear from you. Please comment below.

Headshot of Todd Lassa

As a kid growing up in Metro Milwaukee, Todd Lassa impressed childhood friends with his ability to identify cars on the street by year, make, and model. But when American automakers put an end to yearly sheetmetal changes, Lassa turned his attention toward underpowered British sports cars with built-in oil leaks. After a varied early journalism career, he joined Autoweek, then worked in Motor Trend’s and Automobile’s Detroit bureaus, before escaping for Mountain Maryland with his wife, three dogs, three sports cars (only one of them British), and three bicycles. Lassa is founding editor of thehustings.news, which has nothing to do with cars.

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at Speedofdaily.com, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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