Tesla Inc. is recalling nearly 81,000 electric vehicles in China — more than it typically ships from its Shanghai factory in any given month — due to software issues and seat belt problems.
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The U.S. electric carmaker will recall 70,434 imported Model S, Model X and Model 3 vehicles and 10,127 China-made Model 3 vehicles, China’s State Administration for Market Regulation said in a statement on Friday.
The Model S and Model X recalls required an over-the-air software fix to address a flaw in the car’s battery management system that could lead to loss of power, while the Model 3 had a faulty seat belt anchor.
Tesla is calling on all affected Model 3 owners to return their cars for inspection and maintenance if needed, while urging drivers to “be careful” on the road.
The U.S. electric carmaker has had a tough time in the world’s largest auto market, with deliveries last month falling to 71,704 vehicles from a record high of 83,135 in September, underscoring the automaker’s recent efforts to Lower prices to boost demand.
Tesla is also changing its approach to marketing in China, as fierce competition and uneven sales from domestic rivals such as BYD Co puts its growth plans in the world’s largest electric vehicle market at risk.
Although Tesla recently doubled the capacity of its Shanghai factory to about 1 million vehicles a year, the wait time for cars has been reduced to just one week from as long as 22 weeks earlier this year, showing that the company Efforts are underway to increase sales to meet these ambitions.
Elon Musk’s company has also been plagued by various product safety controversies in China following a recent accident in southeast China that killed two people.
While Tesla said earlier this month that it would assist police investigating a fatal crash involving a Model Y sport-utility vehicle, claiming data from the car showed no evidence the brake pedal had been depressed, the driver and his family have He insisted that the accident must have been caused by a technical problem.
It reminded the public of a high-profile protest last year, when a Model 3 owner climbed onto a show car at the Shanghai auto show and yelled that she nearly died because the brakes on her Tesla failed. Tesla, which was initially welcomed on the red carpet in China, eventually apologized publicly after facing criticism from local authorities and state media, but did not admit any defects in the cars.
Friday’s recall is also not a first for Tesla in China, although it is smaller than previous recalls.
Last June, Tesla had to apply software fixes to more than 285,000 vehicles, or most of the vehicles delivered in recent years, to address safety issues identified by the country’s regulators.
China is Tesla’s most important market after the United States. Its factory on the outskirts of Shanghai produces Model Ys and Model 3s for the local market and also exports to other parts of Asia and Europe.
First published date: November 25, 2022 at 16:13 PM CST