Recall order lifted on Vinashin scooter

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Local vehicle manufacturer Vinashinmotor has resumed sales of its controversial motorcycle Diamond Blue following a product recall in the face of uncertainty about the origin of its engine.

The Vietnam Register, a government body responsible for technical supervision of vehicles, ordered the recall in November amidst a debate on the engine used in the product.

Vinashinmotor, a subsidiary of state-owned shipbuilder Vinashin, said the Diamond Blue scooters were powered by engines produced by Sundiro Honda Motorcycle Co in China. Honda Vietnam, however, insisted that the engine was not manufactured by any branches of the Japanese corporation anywhere in the world.

Vu Manh Ha, general director of Vinashinmotor, said now that the Vietnam Register has received confirmation from both local and Chinese authorities about the engine, sales have resumed since Friday (December 31).

He was quoted by news website VnExpress as saying the reputation of his company has been hurt by "the recall of hundreds of scooters."

The product, which was launched in September, still has another accusation to clear.

Italian scooter company Piaggio has claimed that Diamond Blue is too similar to the design of its popular Vespa LX. Even though Piaggio has not patented the design of Vespa LX in Vietnam, the firm said this is an unhealthy practice.

Diamond Blue retails at around VND50 million (US$2,560) while a Vespa LX costs around $4,000.

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