China forces Tesla to recall most Model S and X models, company responds

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We recently wrote about possible suspension issues in some Tesla vehicles, especially with the control arms and other important components broken. It appears the company is taking action, but only in China, only for certain Model S and X units, and only because the Chinese government is forcing it to do so.Tesla has announced a recall of 18,182 Model S and X units in China. In a letter obtained by Electrek from Elizabeth H. Mykytiuk, Tesla’s chief regulatory counsel, to NHTSA advising the U.S. government of this recall in China, Tesla disputes the need for a recall and says it is doing so only because the alternative of having to face the consequences of the Chinese government is more expensive. Tesla will have to replace the “rear linkages of the front left and right suspensions” and the “upper linkages of the rear left and right suspensions” with a new, more robust one.

Tesla, however, claims there are no faults causing its suspensions to rupture, but rather that the component failures were caused by driver abuse – things like hitting potholes too hard or hitting curbs.

The 18,182 vehicles recalled are a very different number from that Gasgoo originally reported. According to this first report, the Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) wanted the recall of 29,193 Model S and Model X cars manufactured between September 17, 2013 and August 16, 2017, and 19,249 other Model S units produced. between September 17, 2013 and October 15, 2018.

While the Gasgoo report does not indicate why these two groups appear to be the same, the original recall document was posted by Moneyball on Twitter.

He estimated that the number was limited to 29,193 units due to this date coincidence, but probably missed the fact that the second batch was produced for longer. This would imply a greater number of vehicles involved.

While we thought the precise number of recalled EVs would likely be closer to that reported by Gasgoo, Tesla proposed a smaller number in its letter to NHTSA, but does not indicate how it arrived at that number. .

He also does not mention why the Chinese administrative process would be a “heavy burden”, simply that it would be and compliance with the recall is easier. What catches our attention is that the recall involves some of the very first Model S and Model X ever produced. It is not limited to a production interval but extends to all until vehicles produced until 2018. September 17, 2013, was probably chosen as the first date because the first cars exported to China had to start be produced on that date.

It remains to be seen whether U.S. or European officials will also ask Tesla to issue a recall related to these suspensions, but if they do, Tesla’s response to Chinese officials could indicate the outcome.

Sources: Gasgoo, Electrek et Moneyball

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