Tesla to fix 1.6 million cars in China with Over-the-Air update

Credit: Tesla Inc.

Tesla is set to fix 1.6 million vehicles in China with an Over-the-Air update to remedy vehicles with Autopilot changes and door latches.

The Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation said on Friday that it would require 1.61 million Model S, Model X, and Model 3 vehicles that were imported, and Model 3 and Model Y vehicles built domestically, to undergo a software update that would help with driver monitoring while using Autopilot.

Tesla sent the same software update to 2 million vehicles in the United States last month to improve safety.

While technically labeled a “recall,” the affected cars in both the U.S. and China will not have to visit a Service Center or have physical maintenance performed on them. Instead, the cars will receive a Software Update from Tesla that will download and install, solving the issue completely.

A separate fix will be applied to Model S and Model X vehicles, as doors on those cars could become unlatched and open during a crash.

This is another issue that will be fixed with an OTA Update. 120,000 Model S and Model X vehicles in the United States were also subject to this fix, which was remedied by an OTA update in December.

The door latch issue was a violation of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) No.214, S9.2.3(b)(1), which states that any door that is not struck by another car in an accident “shall not disengage from the latched position.”

The Model S and Model X vehicles in China that need this fix were manufactured between October 26, 2022, and November 16, 2023.

The fixes to vehicles in China will also not require anything more than a simple software update to solve these issues, which is why there is so much controversy surrounding the term “recall.”

In the U.S., the NHTSA, which is the agency that handles recalls, states that OTA updates still fall within the definition of a recall. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has called for an update to the terminology on several occasions, especially as the term “recall” has a relatively negative connotation attached to it.

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Tesla to fix 1.6 million cars in China with Over-the-Air update
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