Tesla recalls over 1.1 million vehicles in China due to accelerator pedal alert issue

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On May 12, China’s Financial Association Press reported that Tesla recalled 1,104,622 vehicles in China. The cars include imported Model S and Model X and domestically produced Model Y and Model 3, with production dates between 12th January 2019 – 24th April 2023.

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As per a statement from China’s State Administration for Market Regulation, the recalled vehicles lack the capability for drivers to choose an energy recovery braking strategy. Moreover, the driver may not be given enough reminders when the accelerator pedal is pressed deeply for a long time.

According to the regulator, combining those factors can increase the probability of mistakenly pressing the accelerator for a long time, which may increase the risk of collision and pose a safety hazard.

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On December 1, 2022, Tesla recalled 435,000 cars in China due to an issue with the rear light. The recall was performed via an OTA software update. On November 2022, Tesla recalled 80,000 vehicles in China due to problems with potentially faulty seatbelts and SW issues, which was also solved mainly by the OTA update.

Updated May 12, 3:28 pm (GMT+8): Officials announced that Tesla would use remote OTA update to resolve the recall and fix the software issues regarding excessive speed caused by insufficient alerts when the accelerator pedal is pressed for a long time.

“Tesla will notify the relevant car owners by registered mail or SMS to arrange recall and repair matters. Owners can dial Tesla’s customer service hotline: (+86) 400-910-0707 for consultation”, the recall notice says.

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As per the official statement, the OTA update will cover three issues:

  • Offering alternatives to enable drivers to choose the intensity of regenerative braking in vehicles
  • Modifying the initial regenerative braking strategy configuration of the vehicle.
  • Notifying the driver when the accelerator pedal is pressed deeply for a prolonged duration.

The cumulative production of the Tesla Shanghai Giga factory is slightly over 1 million vehicles as of April, so the recall affects most likely all Tesla cars in China. The numbers of imported Model S and Model X, which are also affected by the recall, are very small.

Tesla previously faced a PR nightmare in China when it was accused that some crashes of its vehicles were caused by brakes not working.

“Never,” the driver who crashed his Model Y at high-speed last November replied when asked if he stepped on the accelerator pedal when the car started speeding. “I had kept my foot on the brake pedal all along until I was on the verge of colliding with the tricycle,” he added in the interview.

A similar accident happened in February when a speeding Model 3 crashed into a bus in the Chinese city of Ruian in Zhejiang province, killing one.

A later investigation report by Tesla based on in-vehicle data revealed that the accelerator pedal was pressed 100% during the whole incident.

China’s State Administration for Market Regulation recall notice. More info on recall.org.cn
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2 COMMENTS

  1. What exactly is so interesting that you title this “Breaking”? It’s just an OTA update, like any other OTA update at Tesla. Every Tesla car gets an update every 2 or 3 weeks automatically, with enhancements and bugfixes. Thus why are you making such a fuss about that?
    Basically, Tesla adds that variable Regeneration back (that was available in earlier days, but was removed for higher efficiency), and a chime for idiots who press the powerpedal too long.
    Not really “Breaking News”, maybe only for writers who are stil on the payroll of old gas guzzling dinosaurs?

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    • Hi Willi. We give breaking to important very recent news, then we remove it after like hour or so. The reasons we featured breaking are two 1) when the news first appeared at 3:03 pm China time in FAP, it wan’t sure if it is OTA or physical or hybrid as it wasn’t mentioned. The news about OTA was added at around 3:22 pm.

      2) second reason is that it has potential to damage Tesla’s reputation in China as Tesla was previously attacked due to problems with accelerator and brakes. Tesla data always proved that driver mistaken the pedal so the case was closed as driver’s fault. But when government body says that deep and long press of acceleration pedal doesn’t have enough alert notifications, it can spark more protests as back in 2021.

      EDIT: oh, and trust me, I’m not on payroll of ICE makers and I write in my free time 😀

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