Toy manufacturer admits recalls of millions of goods damaged country’s reputation.
China’s auto industry has been a key component of the nation’s booming economy.
A report from the state environmental protection administration has said that up to 79 per cent of the air pollution in Chinese cities can be caused by car fumes.
Beijing had significantly more success in August when it banned more than one million cars from its roads for a four-day period to test what it could do to clear the air ahead of next year’s Olympics.
While the ban in August was official, with more than 6,500 traffic police on duty to penalise offenders, Saturday’s “Car Free Day” was voluntary.
The day came at the end of China’s “Public Transport Week”, aimed at publicising the government’s goal of getting half of the nation’s urban residents to use buses and trains rather than private cars.
Many ordinary Chinese view the growing number of cars with concern not so much because of fears for the environment, but because of the worsening traffic jams.