Tesla China recently issued a statement following complaints from locally-produced Model 3 owners whose vehicles were fitted with the company’s Hardware 2.5 instead of its custom-designed Hardware 3 computer, which is designed specifically to achieve autonomous driving.
Tesla cited supply chain issues amid the coronavirus outbreak as a reason behind the error. The company also offered free upgrades once Hardware 3.0 units are available. Tesla Model 3 owners can book appointments with a Service Center for a free replacement.
“Our original intention is to do our best to meet the needs of consumers’ safety and use… We are currently taking various measures to ensure timely delivery. We will continue to listen carefully to consumers. Your voice helps us provide better services and products,” part of the official Tesla China statement read.
Customers expressed their dissatisfaction upon discovering that the labels on their Model 3, specifically with regard to the vehicle controller hardware code, was inconsistent with their orders. The HW3 controller code is 1462554 while the HW2.5 is listed as 1483112. Tesla China clarified that the company installed HW3 for users who have purchased the company’s Full Self-Driving suite, and explained that the driving experience is virtually the same for owners whose cars are equipped with HW2.5.
Tesla’s HW3 is custom-designed by the electric car maker to work with its in-house software. With HW3, drivers are able to make the most of the company’s full suite of FSD capabilities. Some of the advantages unique to HW3 cars today include more detailed Driving Visualizations that include traffic cones, lights, and street signs.
Following a government-imposed closure of Giga Shanghai as China battles the coronavirus public health scare, the Tesla Gigafactory in China resumed operations on Feb. 10. The Palo Alto, California-based carmaker was actually one of the first car manufacturers to resume production following the temporary shutdown ordered by the Chinese government. Tesla also unlocked free Supercharging for customers in China in order to help those who need to travel during the outbreak.
In the face of the coronavirus outbreak, Tesla China also ramped its customer service efforts by delivering locally-made Model 3s to specific addresses instead of requiring customers to go to their local Tesla delivery center to receive their vehicle.
Prior to the Giga Shanghai temporary shutdown, Tesla was among the top local electric car producers in the country, rolling out over 2,600 locally-made Model 3s in January despite the long holiday for the Chinese New Year, which was followed not long after by the outbreak of the coronavirus.