Tesla Inc. has recalled virtually all cars sold in China due to faulty braking and acceleration that can increase accident and safety risks.
The automaker will deploy a live software patch to more than 1.1 million vehicles produced in Shanghai from January 2019 to April this year, as well as some models imported into China, the State Administration for Maintenance said on Friday. market regulation in a press release.
The flaw involves Tesla’s regenerative braking system, which uses energy created when the driver takes their foot off the accelerator by sending power to the car’s battery. Vehicles did not allow drivers to adjust the intensity of their regenerative braking and did not alert drivers when they had been pressing the accelerator for a long time, increasing the likelihood of misapplication of the pedal, said the Chinese regulator.
The hotfix will allow drivers to adjust the intensity of their regenerative braking and adjust the system’s factory default state. The company’s cars will also start warning drivers when they press the accelerator for an extended period.
Tesla representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Shares of the automaker were up 1.3% at 5 a.m. Friday morning in New York, before regular trading began.
Read more: Why EV makers should be concerned about unintended acceleration
Tesla sold about 1.13 million cars in China from 2014 to March, according to data from China Automotive Technology and Research Center and Bloomberg Intelligence.
The company has been repeatedly criticized in China due to drivers claiming that there are acceleration and braking problems in their cars.
In perhaps the most publicized case, a Model 3 owner rode a Tesla display vehicle at the 2021 Shanghai auto show and shouted that his father had nearly died while driving the sedan because that his brakes had failed. The protest was filmed, went viral and made international headlines.
Tesla eventually issued a public apology after being criticized by local authorities and public media, without acknowledging any faults. The company later released data logs from the vehicle showing it was traveling at 118.5 kilometers per hour (74 miles per hour) just before impact.
Related: Tesla Releases Data Logs of Car Involved in China Crash
A separate incident in November 2022 involved a fatal crash with a Model Y sport utility vehicle. Tesla again said the incident was not caused by a malfunction, pointing to data extracted from the car showing no evidence that the brake pedal had been pressed before the accident, and a video showing that the brake lights had remained off. The accelerator was pushed hard before the accident, which killed a motorcyclist and a high school student on a bicycle.
While regulators have investigated incidents of pedal misapplication for decades, the issue has come to the fore with Toyota Motor Corp’s unintended acceleration recalls. from 2009.
Unintended accelerations might become more common and sharp with electric vehicles, which lack the sound of a spinning motor that might make a driver realize more quickly that they’ve pressed the wrong pedal. Pressing the accelerator of an electric vehicle also produces nearly instantaneous torque, allowing the vehicles to take off faster than gas-powered cars.
China is an extremely important market for Tesla, both as a source of production and sales. The country’s revenue soared to more than $18 billion last year, more than six times what the company generated in 2019.
The Austin, Texas-based automaker has an electric vehicle factory on the outskirts of Shanghai that produced nearly 711,000 cars last year, more than half of its global output.