Tesla is initiating the recall of more than 1.6 million vehicles in China due to issues related to steering software and door-locking systems, as reported by the country’s regulatory body. The affected models include S, X, 3, and Y, along with 7,538 imported vehicles. The necessary corrections will be implemented through remote software updates, eliminating the need for owners to take their vehicles to dealerships or garages. This action follows Tesla’s recent recall of two million cars in the United States due to problems with autopilot software.
The Chinese regulator, the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), categorizes this remote software update as a recall, emphasizing its preventive nature to address potential risks associated with the autosteer function and reduce the likelihood of collisions. Additionally, Tesla will deploy over-the-air software updates for 1,610,105 vehicles, including imported Models S and X, as well as China-manufactured Models 3 and Y spanning the years 2014 to 2023. The SAMR clarifies that the update aims to rectify issues with the automatic assisted steering function, mitigating the risk of collisions resulting from the misuse of the level two combined assisted driving function. Separately, 7,538 units of Models S and X will undergo a software upgrade to address concerns about doors unlocking during crashes. This development follows a recent setback for Tesla in China, where BYD surpassed Tesla in electric car sales globally in the last quarter of 2023. This recall is the second in China for Tesla, with a previous incident in 2022 involving nearly 128,000 cars due to a rear motor inverter defect.
Despite these challenges, Tesla maintains a significant market presence in China, driven by government incentives promoting electric and hybrid vehicle adoption. The country aims to transition to a majority of clean energy-powered cars by 2035 and hosts Tesla’s prominent manufacturing facility in Shanghai, its first gigafactory established overseas, which delivered 947,000 vehicles in 2023 according to state news agency Xinhua.