Tesla has issued a “recall” for over 1.1 million cars in China, almost every single example sold there, after concerns were raised regarding a missing feature on its vehicles’ braking system.
The Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) deemed the lack of ability for the driver to adjust the level of regenerative braking when they release the accelerator pedal posed a safety risk as it increases the risk of a crash.
If you aren’t aware, regenerative braking is a feature unique to electric vehicles which essentially reverses the polarity of the electric motors to generate electricity to top the battery up. This can often be done at different levels of intensity or turned off entirely as determined by the driver, which in the case of Tesla, was not possible.
SAMR also stated that there an audible warning sound should play if the accelerator is pressed for an extended period of time.
The problem affects a majority of the carmaker’s models made locally or imported between 12 January 2019 and 24 April 2023, including the Model S, Model 3, Model X, and Model Y.
Since Tesla began selling cars in China, it has sold approximately 1.109 million units of all models combined with 1.104 million of those being involved in the recall, according to multiple reports.
However, the company’s CEO, Elon Musk, is maintaining that this isn’t a recall at all as it doesn’t involve any vehicles being physically called back to a dealership for a fix to be conducted.
Instead, Tesla plans send out an over-the-air software update that will enable drivers to select how much their vehicle brakes when off throttle, as well as play a warning sound if the pedal is pressed for too long to alleviate the safety concerns.
We doubt the “recall” will extend to other international models or ones sold in New Zealand considering Tesla had planned to introduce regenerative braking strength settings on its cars a number of weeks ago anyway.