Tesla Model 3 temporarily blocked by China customs over incorrect labels (updated)

Model 3 Performance Power Sports Wheels on display in China. | Credit: Twitter/@ShanghaiJayin

Around 1,600 Tesla Model 3 are being held by Chinese customs due to missing and incorrect labels on some of the vehicles. According to Shanghai’s General Administration of Customs (GAC), some of the Model 3 were missing labels on their brake fluid tanks. Other vehicles had electric motors that were improperly labeled.

The GAC has issued a notice temporarily halting the sales of Tesla Model 3 in China, at least until the vehicles in the country are adequately inspected. Rigorous checks on incoming Model 3 will also be implemented to ensure that all cars are fitted with the necessary labels.

Local news agency Caixin Global notes that Tesla points to “incorrect settings on its printers” and “workers’ poor operation” as a reason behind the mislabeled Model 3s. The electric car maker is now actively working with the Chinese government to look for solutions. The GAC has also invited two third-party institutions to evaluate potential remedies for the mislabeled electric sedans.

The GAC’s decision to temporarily halt Tesla’s sales of the Model 3 in China adds to the company’s recent challenges when it faced protests by some existing owners who were upset over Tesla’s decision to significantly lower the price of Model S and Model X. Some protesters in China even put up signs on the windows of Tesla stores urging buyers to “buy tomorrow at a discount.”

Update: China’s customs have cleared imported cars following Tesla’s plan to address the issues, according to Reuters.

Tesla is now in the final month of the first quarter, and every moment wasted is an opportunity that is lost for the company. The Shanghai GAC’s problems with the Model 3’s labels are a minor issue, one that could have been easily addressed when the vehicles were being produced. One can only hope that Tesla can remedy its Model 3 labeling problems quickly, and that the company will avoid avoidable errors such as these in the future.  

The first quarter of 2019 is marked by Tesla’s efforts to bring the Model 3 to Europe and China. Tesla is so far offering the Long Range all-wheel drive and Performance Model 3 in Europe, while over in China, the company is offering both rear-wheel drive and Dual Motor AWD Model 3, and Performance Model 3 to consumers. Tesla had also launched the highly-anticipated $35,000 Model 3 in the United States, finally reaching the target price set by Elon Musk when he unveiled the vehicle back in 2016.

"Simon Alvarez : @https://twitter.com/ResidentSponge Simon is a reporter with a passion for electric cars and clean energy. Fascinated by the world envisioned by Elon Musk, he hopes to make it to Mars (at least as a tourist) someday.."
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