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Tesla to ‘recall’ over 285,000 cars in China due to faulty software

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An investigation in China found issues with navigational software that affects some imported and domestically manufactured Model 3 and Model Y Tesla vehicles./AFP
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Jun 28, 2021 - 01:15 AM

BEIJING, CHINA — Electric car giant Tesla will “recall” over 285,000 cars from the Chinese market after an investigation found issues with its assisted driving software that could cause road collisions, a government regulator announced late Friday.

Tesla would contact affected users to upgrade their vehicle’s software remotely for free, a State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR) notice said, adding that it affects some imported and domestically manufactured Model 3 and Model Y vehicles.

“The recall plan was filed with the State Administration of Market Regulation, and it was decided to recall the following vehicles from today,” SAMR said.

The order is the latest blow to the American self-driving car pioneer, which has come under growing regulatory scrutiny in China due to several deadly collisions involving Tesla vehicles in recent months.

“Due to issues with the cruise control system… the driver can easily activate the cruise control function by mistake,” the Chinese government agency said in the notice.

“A sudden increase in vehicle speed will occur, which could… in extreme cases, cause a collision, posing safety hazards.”

The carmaker has also been targeted by numerous social media complaints from Chinese users regarding quality and service issues, culminating in a high-profile customer protest at the Shanghai Auto Show in April.

The cruise control function, which “matches the speed of your car to that of the surrounding traffic” is a key part of Tesla’s Autopilot assisted driving function, according to the manufacturer’s website.

Tesla’s road in China appeared to be paved with gold after founder Elon Musk was granted rare permission to build a wholly owned factory in Shanghai that has allowed it to accelerate to the head of the pack in China’s huge electric car market.

The company is hugely popular in China, where it sells one out of every four of its cars.

The firm announced last month it would be setting up a data centre in China, following user backlash over fears that their data could be passed over to the US.

Tesla shares fell almost 8 per cent upon the news during US trading hours Friday.

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