China’s market regulator has ordered Tesla to fix the software in more than 1 million vehicles to reduce the risk of accidents. According to the regulator, the affected vehicles did not allow drivers to turn off regenerative braking or provide sufficient warnings when drivers stepped hard on the accelerator pedal, which could increase the risk of collision.
Tesla has agreed to issue over-the-air software updates to 1.1 million units of its Model S, Model X, Model 3, and Model Y cars, both imported and China-made, from May 29.
Under Chinese regulations, the product recall action was announced by the State Administration for Market Regulation. It remains unclear whether Tesla customers will be required to return their vehicles to the company for refunds.
Restoring the option to switch off regenerative braking and providing a warning to drivers when they heavily step on the accelerator pedal will be the result of the software update. Regenerative braking is a technology that saves energy during the deceleration process of a vehicle and uses the excess energy to charge the batteries, thereby increasing the driving range.
Disabling the option to switch off regenerative braking on cars manufactured after 2020 was implemented by Tesla. Morningstar analyst Seth Goldstein considers a software update “recall” to be a mild action compared to significant recalls where customers must take their vehicles to get serviced to fix equipment problems.
On Friday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced its awareness of the recall in China and its efforts to gather additional information from the manufacturer.