The China State Administration for Market Regulation has announced the recall of Tesla Model S and Model X electric vehicles which were made in the United States. Up to 48,442 cars are being recalled over faulty front and rear suspensions.
The recall impacts 29,193 imported Model Ss and Model Xs, which were produced between September 17, 2013 and August 16, 2017; and 19,249 imported Model S units produced between September 17, 2013 and October 15, 2018. According to Chinese media reports, these electric cars were manufactured at Tesla’s Fremont California vehicle assembly plant. The Chinese agency has directed the luxury carmaker to replace the rear linkages of their left and right front suspension and the upper linkages of the left and right rear suspension with an improved one for all the cars that are part of the recall ‘at no cost to the owners’. This is Tesla’s fourth recall of cars in China, manufactured in the US. The earlier recalls involved replacing faulty airbags made by Takata and fixing or preventing steering problems
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, US’s vehicle safety authority, is aware about the EV recall. In an official statement the NHTSA said it has not received significant complaints related to these issues in the United States. The agency is in contact with Tesla and monitoring the situation closely, and will not hesitate to take action to protect the public against unreasonable risks to safety.
However, the carmaker has disagreed with the Chinese regulator and has squarely pushed the blame on driver abuse. It said driver usage and expectation for damageability is uniquely severe in the China market. If the customer inputs an abuse load, such as severe pothole strike or curb impact, the parts may be damaged, leading either to immediate failure or delayed failure from the compounding effects of the initial abuse and subsequent load input. Nonetheless, the company is doing a voluntary recall in China to avoid carrying a heavy burden through the Chinese administrative process.