Hyundai and Kia are recalling around 71,000 Chinese-built cars because of faults with locally-made Kumho tyres, according to China's quality watchdog, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine. Great Wall Motor will also recall more than 4,600 cars fitted with the same Kumho tyre.

The recall affects 63,588 Hyundai cars, made at its joint venture in Beijing between June 2008 and January this year, plus 7,208 Kia models.

Kumho is the largest tyremaker in China, The fault has been traced to excessive amounts of recycled tyres used as raw materials for new tyres at its plant in the municipality of Tianjin; this could cause tyres to rupture more easily, according to the government.

Last month, the government suspended a licence required by the Tianjin plant to sell tyres.