Nearly every vehicle Tesla has ever sold in China is being recalled for a potentially dangerous braking and accelerating defect.
A total of 1.1 million Tesla Model S, Model X, Model 3 and Model Y vehicles are included in the recall, Chinese regulators said Friday. Tesla has sold about 1.13 million cars since it arrived in China in 2014.
Tesla plans to fix the issue with an over-the-air software update, which will allow drivers to have more control over the intensity of their regenerative braking system, which is at the core of the recall. Without more control over this system, which harnesses excess energy created when a driver takes their foot off the accelerator, drivers can experience unintended acceleration, according to Chinese regulators.
The recall in China comes amid a tough year in the Asian market for Tesla. Following hefty price cuts at the start of the year, some Tesla owners in China protested missing out on these discounts.
Tesla looks more and more like every other car company
This is Tesla’s second large recall this year. In the US, Elon Musk’s electric car company issued a recall in February on the more than 360,000 Teslas equipped with its Full Self-Driving software. The company began rolling out an over-the-air fix in March.
Racking up recalls in the US and China is the latest sign that Tesla is maturing into just another car company. Safety recalls are a common occurrence for large brands, and more likely to come in big batches when the company is building millions of vehicles a year.
Musk has spent much of this year applying some of the oldest tricks in legacy automakers’ playbooks to pump up the company’s sales volumes, such as slashing prices and offering incentives like free Supercharger miles.
Musk has made it clear that 2023 is an important year for Tesla as it seeks to graduate from an early-adopter niche brand to a mass producer of vehicles. The CEO told investors earlier this year that Tesla plans to double its output in 2023 to 2 million vehicles.
Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.