The chair of the US senate finance committee said on Monday he was expanding its probe into BMW’s use of electronic components from a banned Chinese supplier.

A US Senate report released last month said that BMW imported at least 8,000 Mini Cooper vehicles into the US that contained electronic parts from a banned Chinese supplier. The supplier, Sichuan Jingweida Technology Group (JWD), was on a list of banned firms due to links with alleged Chinese forced labour.

Senate report: BMW imported vehicles into US with parts from banned Chinese supplier

On Monday senator Ron Wyden, in a new letter to BMW North America CEO Sebastian Mackensen, reportedly asked if the automaker has completed its examination of its supply chain to determine whether other products it imported contained parts from Chinese supplier Sichuan Jingweida Technology Group (JWD).

“Is BMW certain that it is not currently importing vehicles containing components produced by JWD?” the letter said, asking for answers by 21 June.

Wyden also wants [details of] any actions taken by BMW “to address any cars or spare parts containing JWD parts improperly imported by BMW” after December 2023, Reuters said.

BMW Group did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on Monday but said last month it had “taken steps to halt the importation of affected products.”

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The company would be taking action to replace the specific parts, adding it “has strict standards and policies regarding employment practices, human rights, and working conditions, which all our direct suppliers must follow”.

Reuters noted congress in 2021 passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) law to strengthen enforcement of laws to prevent the import of goods from China’s Xinjiang region believed to have been produced with forced labour by members of the country’s Uyghur minority group. China denies the allegations.

The report found Bourns, a California-based supplier, had sourced components from JWD, which was added to the UFLPA Entity List in December.

Bourns reportedly provided JWD parts to Lear, a direct supplier to BMW and other automakers. Bourns notified Lear in January that electronic components known as LAN transformers had been produced by JWD and were prohibited in U.S. imported vehicles.

According to Reuters, Lear said last month it took the issues raised seriously and shares “the committee’s desire to combat forced labour,” and noted it does not have a direct relationship with JWD.