Tesla has announced a recall of 81,000 cars in China due to potential seat belt and software issues.
According to a statement from the Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation yesterday, US EV maker Tesla will recall 70,434 imported Model S, Model X, and Model 3 vehicles, as well as 10,127 China-made Model 3 vehicles.
The Model S and Model X recalls are a result of a software malfunction in the vehicles’ battery management system. This could lead to power loss. The over-the-air software fix will take care of this problem. As for the Model 3s, they have faulty seat belt fixtures.
Those Model 3 owners affected by the software issues should take their cars in for maintenance as soon as possible, while also being vigilant on the roads, Tesla suggested.
The US electric vehicle company is not doing so well in China, the world’s largest automotive market. In fact, last month’s sales numbers show a decline from 83,135 vehicles in September to 71,704 vehicles sold. The recent price cut was most likely an attempt to increase consumer demand.
As China’s electric vehicle market rapidly expands, Tesla faces intense pressure from well-established domestic companies such as BYD Co. As a result, Tesla is forced to rethink its marketing strategy in order to maintain a foothold and achieve growth in the world’s largest EV market.
Even though Tesla recently upgraded its Shanghai factory’s capacity to produce 1 million cars a year, the wait time for cars has shrunk from 22 weeks earlier this year to only one week. This indicates that the company is having difficulties selling enough vehicles to meet its goals.
The company is embroiled in other controversies over product safety in China following a recent accident in the southeast of the country that killed two people.
Earlier this month, Tesla stated that it would help with a police investigation into the fatal crash involving the Model Y sports utility. However, they also said that data taken from inside the car showed no indication whatsoever that the brake pedal had been applied.
The driver and his loved ones claimed that the collision could only have been caused by a technological malfunction.
Last year, at the Shanghai auto show, a Model 3 owner protested by climbing atop a display vehicle and yelling that her Tesla’s brakes failed and she almost died.
Tesla, who received an initial warm welcome in China, issued a public apology to local authorities and state-run media after coming under fire, without admitting any faults of the car.
Yesterday’s recall was not Tesla’s first in China, but it was smaller in scale than previous ones.
In June of last year, Tesla rectified a software safety issue for more than 285,000 vehicles that it had delivered in recent years. This problem was identified by the country’s regulator.
The US market is not as important to Tesla as the Chinese market.
The Model Ys and Model 3s Tesla manufactures in its factory just beyond Shanghai not only serve the local market but are also shipped to other areas of Asia and Europe.
Shivendra Tiwari is an Engineer and an MBA in Marketing. He is the Content head at Marketing91 and a thorough Online Marketing enthusiast. Shivendra loves to follow different brands and study their Business and Marketing tactics.