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Tesla Recalls 1.1 Million Cars in China Over Braking Defect

Tesla has announced a recall of more than 1.1 million cars in China due to a potential braking defect. The recall affects certain Model S and Model X vehicles manufactured between September 2013 and January 2018, as well as Model 3 vehicles manufactured between May 2019 and October 2022.

According to a statement from China’s State Administration for Market Regulation, the affected cars have a defect in the brake caliper piston that can cause it to stick and result in a loss of braking power. Tesla said it has not received any reports of accidents or injuries related to the issue. The recall is one of the largest in Tesla’s history and comes as the company is facing increasing scrutiny from regulators in China, its second-largest market after the U.S. Last month, China’s market regulator launched an investigation into the safety of Tesla’s vehicles following a string of accidents involving the company’s cars.

Saving Face

Tesla said it will replace the affected brake caliper pistons free of charge. The company said it will begin notifying affected customers via email and will also send out notifications through its mobile app. The recall comes at a critical time for Tesla, which is trying to expand its presence in China as it faces increasing competition from local rivals. The company is building a massive new factory in the country and is also ramping up production of its Model Y SUV.

China has been a key market for Tesla, with the company selling more than 137,000 vehicles in the country last year. However, the company has faced several setbacks in China, including a protest at a major auto show in Shanghai last month and the recall of more than 36,000 cars earlier this year over safety issues.

The Bigger Picture

The recall also comes amid a broader crackdown on the tech industry in China, with regulators targeting companies over a range of issues including data security and antitrust concerns. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has sought to reassure investors that the company’s operations in China are not at risk, saying in an earnings call last month that he believes the company has a “very good relationship” with the Chinese government.

The recall could also have financial implications for Tesla, as the company could be forced to set aside funds to cover the cost of the repairs. The company’s shares fell nearly 2% in after-hours trading following the announcement of the recall. Tesla has faced several high-profile recalls in recent years, including a recall of nearly 135,000 Model S and Model X vehicles in the U.S. in 2018 over a potential issue with the power steering system. The company has also faced criticism over its handling of recalls, with some customers saying the company was slow to respond to their concerns. Overall, the recall of more than 1.1 million vehicles in China is a significant setback for Tesla as it tries to expand its presence in one of its key markets. The company will need to work quickly to address the issue and reassure customers that its vehicles are safe to drive.