Tesla has been forced to recall almost all the vehicles that have been built in its Shanghai Gigafactory since opening due to concerns over safety issues. The electric vehicle giant recalled more than 285,000 vehicles: of which 35,665 were imported Model 3 vehicles and 249,855 were Model 3 and Model Y vehicles made at the Shanghai factory. Chinese regulators stated that the cruise control system could be activated unintentionally in some of Tesla’s cars, leading to worries about sudden acceleration.
Tesla issued an apology ensuring that it would:
The hashtag “#Tesla recalls over 280,000 electric cars” (#特斯拉召回超28万辆电动汽车#) hit 2.06 million views with one netizen comparing Tesla’s situation in China to that of Samsung.
The relevant software has been updated remotely so customers don’t need to fully return their vehicles, yet, the incident has further damaged Tesla’s reputation in China.
The carmaker has already been in the spotlight several times this year. Following a series of brake failure incidents in Tesla vehicles, two women launched a protest against the company at the Shanghai Auto Show which was widely shared online. Less than a month after, Tesla was trending on Weibo due to further concerns about safety issues with the automaker.
Tesla’s market position in China has also been threatened by the growing number of Chinese EV makers entering the market. NIO is one Chinese brand that has established its name as a strong competitor to Tesla due to its cheaper pricing and consumer-focused strategy.