SOURCE / COMPANIES
Tesla attributes recall of nearly 50,000 cars in China to driver abuse
Published: Nov 04, 2020 07:08 PM

File photo shows a Tesla Model X that is being displayed at the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai, east China. (Xinhua/Xing Guangli)



Tesla told the US vehicle safety authority that the recall of Model S and Model X in China was caused by "driver abuse" instead of faulty and unsafe front and rear suspensions, according to a letter cited by US media.  

Tesla has filed a recall plan with China's State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), and has recalled some imported Model S and Model X electric vehicles starting October 23, per an announcement on the website of SAMR Defective Product Administrative Center.

A salesperson surnamed Yang at a Tesla store in Beijing told the Global Times that recently imported cars and made in China cars are not involved in the recall. 

Tesla has not responded to request of comments by the Global Times as of press time.

The recall of Tesla comes as the Chinese market regulator has launched a quality investigation, said the regulator. Tesla will recall up to 48,442 of its Model S and Model X electric vehicles produced in the US and exported to China.

However, in a letter about the recall sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) from Tesla attorney Elizabeth Mykytuik, Tesla disputed that its models have faulty suspension links and disagreed with China's market regulator, CNBC reported.

According to the letter, Tesla has blamed the problem on "driver abuse," saying "driver usage and expectation for damageability is uniquely severe in the China market. If the customer inputs an abuse load (e.g., curb impact, severe pothole strike, etc.), then the parts may be damaged, leading either to immediate failure or delayed failure from the compounding effects of the initial abuse and subsequent load input."

According to the SAMR, Tesla will replace the rear linkages of front suspension of recalled cars for free. Tesla also told the NHTAS that it is doing a voluntary recall to avoid "carrying a heavy burden through the Chinese administrative process."

Tesla has defended itself against similar complaints about unsafe suspensions of Model S in the US in 2016, tweeting that NHTSA had "found no safety concern with the Model S suspension and have no further need for data from us on this matter."

Global Times


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