Tesla Has A Problem With China Right Now

Electric Vehicles / Comments

Let's call it a friendly recall disagreement.

Although Tesla currently has its Shanghai Gigafactory up and running churning out Model 3s, it didn't always have a production facility in the world's largest automotive market. Tesla has been exporting the US-built Model S and Model X to China for several years now and this will likely continue.

And now China has forced Tesla to recall a total of 29,193 of those vehicles, built between September 17, 2013 and January 15, 2018, due to potentially faulty front and rear suspensions. However, no such recall has been issued in the US despite the fact the vehicles in question are no different. In a statement, the China State Administration for Market Regulation claims that following a large impact, the vehicles' connecting rods may become damaged and potentially leading to a suspension failure.

2016-2020 Tesla Model X Front View Driving Tesla
2017-2020 Tesla Model S Top View Tesla
2017-2020 Tesla Model S Rear View Driving Tesla
2017-2020 Tesla Model S Rear View Driving Tesla

Tesla disagrees and says there is no defect but is nevertheless going ahead with the recall; a battle with the Chinese government is not something it wants to have, and nor is it something it can win. Tesla already has a fix ready that involves replacing the front suspension's rear connecting links and the upper connecting links in the rear suspension. But the question boils down to this: why is the Tesla Model S and Model X having suspension problems in China in the first place?

In a September letter to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, Tesla made it clear it disagreed with China's decision on the matter and had no plans to recalls these vehicles in the US or elsewhere other than China.

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2016-2020 Tesla Model X Front View Driving Tesla
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2016-2020 Tesla Model X Rear View Driving Tesla

The company believes the real problems are bad Chinese roads and poor drivers in general. However, it's not like the US doesn't also have its share of bad roads and questionable drivers, and the reality is this: some US Tesla owners have actually been complaining about Model S suspension issues, specifically 2017 models. Consumer Reports, for example, has been aware of this and says it's one of the reasons why it no longer recommends the Model S.

Unfortunately, it's no longer possible to seek comment from Tesla because it recently eliminated its PR department.

2016-2020 Tesla Model X Front Angle View Tesla
2017-2020 Tesla Model S Side View Tesla
2017-2020 Tesla Model S Front View Driving Tesla

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