Autopilot issues forces Tesla to recall another 1.6 million cars

Tesla is recalling 1.62 million vehicles in China due to an Autopilot safety issue, mirroring a similar recall affecting two million vehicles in the US. The over-the-air (OTA) updates will be deployed to address concerns related to drivers misusing the level 2 combined driving assistance function, which poses collision risks. This recall encompasses nearly all Tesla vehicles sold in China, including imported Model S and Model X, as well as domestically produced Model 3 and Model Y EVs.

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China’s State Administration for Market Regulations (SAMR) highlighted the potential safety risks arising from drivers not adequately monitoring the vehicle while using Tesla’s Autosteer function. The OTA update will introduce additional controls and alerts to encourage vigilant driver attention during Autosteer engagement.

In a separate recall affecting 7,538 imported Model S and Model X vehicles, Tesla is addressing a door unlocking issue after collisions. This concern, previously dealt with in the US, will also be rectified through an OTA update, eliminating the need for customers to visit Tesla stores.

In the US, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is keeping its investigation into Autopilot safety controls open, monitoring Tesla’s corrective measures. The investigation was initiated last August after 11 crashes involving parked first responder vehicles, resulting in 17 injuries and one fatality. The NHTSA sought detailed documentation from Tesla on Autopilot’s functionality, particularly regarding ensuring driver attentiveness and usage limitations.

Tesla recently reported a record 1.8 million EV deliveries globally, with over half (944,779 EVs) sold in China, marking it as the company’s largest market. Tesla’s Shanghai plant, with a production capacity of up to 1.1 million Model 3 and Model Y cars annually, serves the Chinese market and exports to Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.