Autosteer feature concerns triggers massive recall

Graham Hope

January 5, 2024

2 Min Read
An aerial view of Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory on March 29, 2021 in Shanghai, China.
Xiaolu Chu/Getty Images

Tesla is recalling more than 1.6 million vehicles in China to address worries over its Autopilot driver-assistance tech.

The move comes less than a month after the company was forced to recall more than 2 million vehicles in the United States to effectively address the same problem.

The issue is with the Autosteer feature and concerns that it does not do enough to prevent driver misuse. In America, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said this could lead to “an increased risk of a crash.”

In China, the news was confirmed by the State Administration for Market Regulations (SAMR), which used similar language, stating: “The driver may misuse the Level 2 combined driving assistance function, increasing the risk of vehicle collision and posing safety risks.”

A total of 1,610,105 cars are affected, comprising imported Model S and Model 3 sedans, plus Model X SUVs, and Chinese-made Model 3s and Model Y SUVs.

The vehicles were produced between August 2014 and December 2023.

As in the U.S., the Chinese issue can be resolved remotely by an over-the-air update, so the vehicles involved do not have to go to a dealer to be fixed. However, the process is still considered a “recall” under Chinese regulations.

The remedial update will see Tesla add more controls and alerts that “encourage drivers to perform their driving duties and comply with driving regulations when this function is enabled,” said the SAMR.

Related:Tesla Recalls 2 Million Vehicles for Autopilot Safety Issue

At the same time, a recall has also been issued in China for 7,538 imported Model S and Model X cars produced between October 2022 and November of last year. 

This is aimed at preventing doors from unlocking in a collision – a potential issue that was also covered by a recall in the U.S. in December.

Again, this can be carried out remotely via a software update.

China is Tesla’s biggest market globally, accounting for more than half of the 1,808,581 EVs the company says it delivered during 2023.

Its massive Shanghai Gigafactory alone has the potential to manufacture around 1.1 million vehicles annually.
Tesla, which does not run a public relations department, has not commented on the recall. Its Autopilot tech has faced regular scrutiny from the authorities in the U.S., with the NHTSA probing several crashes, including some with stationary first responder vehicles.

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About the Author(s)

Graham Hope

Graham Hope has worked in automotive journalism in the U.K. for 26 years, including spells as editor of leading consumer news website and weekly Auto Express and respected buying guide CarBuyer.

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