Tesla has seen a string of bad publicity in China this year, with officials raising concerns about security risks and protests over how the US automaker handles customer complaints in the country.
The bad news continued, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that Tesla is recalling more than 285,000 vehicles in China – most of them locally made – due to safety risks with cruise control in vehicles. With the owners not being asked to return their cars.
The China State Administration for Market Regulation said the recall includes 249855 Model 3 and Model Y vehicles manufactured at Tesla’s Shanghai plant. and 35,655 Model 3 cars were imported. All were produced between December 2019 and June 2021, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Tesla sold 33,463 Chinese-made electric cars in May, according to industry data.
The recall came after an investigation into potential defects, which found that the stability control system could be activated by mistake.
The defect could potentially lead to an unexpected increase in speed and cause a collision. This is according to the State Administration of Market Regulation
The regulator said it received a request from Tesla a few days ago for a refund. Owners can remotely upgrade the vehicle’s cruise control software.
Tesla’s problems in China:
Tesla disbanded its press office. It does not usually respond to media requests. The Wall Street Journal reported that Tesla posted an apology on its Weibo page, a social media platform in China.
The company said: We apologize for the inconvenience caused by this recall to all vehicle owners. Tesla continues to improve safety in accordance with national requirements.
Tesla signed an agreement to build a facility in China in 2018, and began delivering cars produced there in December 2019.
The company said its goal is to produce 500,000 vehicles a year in China, the world’s largest electric vehicle market.
China is a key market for the company, selling about 30 percent of its cars there. Sales in China were recently choppy, with a dip in April followed by more promising numbers in May.
There have recently been complaints from some Chinese customers about quality and service, with a protest at the Shanghai Auto Show in April.
In addition, the company apologized to customers in April for how it handled complaints.