June 5, 2023

Great Indian Mutiny

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China says Tesla will fix software for 1.1 million cars about the braking problem

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s market regulator said on Friday that Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) will fix software in more than a million cars to reduce the chance of accidents.

The action is described as a product recall under Chinese regulations, the regulator said, but it was not immediately clear whether drivers might need, or would be eligible, to return vehicles to Tesla for a refund.

Starting May 29, the US automaker will release software updates over the air for 1.1 million units of its Model S, Model X, Model 3 and Model Y vehicles, both imported and made in China, the State Administration for Market Regulation said in a statement.

The regulator said the vehicles involved did not allow drivers to turn off regenerative braking or provide sufficient warnings when drivers depressed the accelerator pedal hard, which together could increase the risk of crash.

The update will bring back the option to turn off regenerative braking and warn drivers when they press hard on the accelerator pedal, the statement added.

Tesla was not immediately available for comment.

Regenerative braking saves energy from the process of slowing the vehicle, feeding excess back to the batteries to increase its driving range. Tesla has disabled the option to turn off the technology on cars produced after 2020.

China-made Tesla Model 3 vehicles are seen during a handover ceremony at its factory in Shanghai, China January 7, 2020. REUTERS/Ally Song/File photo

“I see a relatively mild software update ‘recall’ for major recalls where customers have to take their vehicles to get service to fix an equipment problem,” said Morningstar analyst Seth Goldstein.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday that it is “aware of the recall in China and is gathering more information from the manufacturer.”

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Some consumers in China welcomed the technology, also known as single-pedal driving, because it enabled them to stop the car completely without using the brake pedal.

However, others have complained that it can confuse drivers and increase the risk of being mistaken for speeders.

Chinese police are investigating a Model Y car collision in which a motorcyclist and a high school girl died and three people were injured when the driver lost control of the vehicle last November.

At the time, Tesla said the videos showed the car’s brake lights were not on as it was traveling and the data showed issues such as the lack of any brake action throughout its journey.

Tesla shares fell about 1.3% on Friday in New York.

Reporting by the Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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