Tesla forced to ‘recall’ 1.1 million vehicles in China to address braking problems



The vehicles do not allow drivers to choose the energy regenerative braking system, which can increase the risk of crash or collision.

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Tesla said that it would push an over-the-air software update to 1.1 million vehicles in China in response to a braking and acceleration problem, multiple outlets are reporting.

China’s market regulator identified the issue as a “product recall,” though, as is typical with Tesla, the issue appears to be addressable with a software update. It isn’t clear whether Tesla wants customers to bring in their vehicles for any maintenance, nor whether there is a refund available to those who want to return their cars.

The recall covers all four of Tesla’s vehicle models — Model S, X, 3, and Y — both imported and made in China, that were manufactured between January 12th, 2019, and April 24th, 2023. In a statement, the State Administration for Market Regulation described the problem:

The vehicles within the scope of this recall do not allow the driver to choose the energy regenerative braking strategy; at the same time, the driver may not provide enough reminders when the driver depresses the accelerator pedal deeply for a long time. The superposition of the above factors may increase the probability of mistakenly stepping on the accelerator pedal for a long time, which may increase the risk of collision and pose a safety hazard. 

This is the second recall for Tesla in China. Earlier this year, the company issued a recall for 2,649 vehicles after China’s regulator said that the hood on certain Model S vehicles was at risk of opening during driving.

China is Tesla’s most important market, with the company’s revenues from the country climbing to $18.2 billion last year from $13.8 billion the year before. Tesla sold 66,051 electric vehicles that were made in China in January 2023, up 18 percent from the prior month, according to data published by the China Passenger Car Association.

The braking issue does not appear to be related to Tesla’s “phantom braking” problem that has prompted recalls and lawsuits in the US. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into the issue that has affected at least 800 vehicle owners, who have reported sudden braking in response to imagined hazards.

Tesla has faced a series of recalls in the US related to a host of other issues, including its much-hyped Full Self-Driving product. Earlier this year, Tesla paused the rollout of FSD after recalling nearly 363,000 vehicles equipped with the controversial driver-assist system.

For his part, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has expressed disdain for the word “recall” since some of the problems can be fixed with an OTA software update.


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