Tesla is recalling over 1.6m battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in China due to software issues that could pose a safety risk while driving, according to local reports citing the country’s market regulator State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR).
The recall came after problems were experienced with the assisted driving functions of the locally produced Models 3 and Y while some 7,500 imported Models S, X and 3 vehicles were also being recalled due to “a problem with the door unlock logics controls”.
Tesla was expected to fix the problems through remote ‘over-the-air’ (OTA) software updates.
A SAMR spokesperson said the locally made Tesla vehicles were being recalled because “when the automatic assisted steering function is turned on, the driver may misuse the Level 2 combined assisted driving function, increasing the risk of vehicle collision and posing a safety hazard”.
Tesla was a leading the world’s largest BEV manufacturer last year with 1.84m sales globally (BYD‘s higher total – around 3m – includes hybrids).
Tesla is being chased down aggressively by China’s BYD which overtook the US automaker in the fourth quarter of last year. But, over the full year, BYD sold 1.62m BEVs plus 1.4m hybrids.
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Tesla’s global strategy relies heavily on China where its Shanghai plant increased production 33% to 947,000 Model 3s and Ys last year to account for more than half of its global vehicle output. Of these, 600,000 were for sale locally.