Tesla Inc. recalled nearly 300,000 passenger vehicles in China after widespread safety issues were found associated with the car’s cruise control functions.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Tesla’s Chinese branch had to pull 249,855 Model 3 sedans and Model Y compact cross-over vehicles, as well as 35,655 imported Model 3 cars due to possible defects with the vehicle’s cruise control. The recall comes after an investigation discovered that the cruise control systems could be activated on their own accord and possibly cause accidental speed increases.
“We apologize for the inconvenience caused by this recall to all car owners,” Tesla said through social media on China’s Twitter-like website, Weibo. “Tesla will continue to improve safety in strict accordance with national requirements.” The mass recall comes at a bad time for Tesla’s Chinese market, which has suffered a good amount of backlash in recent months due to its poor customer service. In April, Tesla came under scrutiny after an upset customer staged a protest at Auto Shanghai, China’s premier auto-industry exposition. The customer claimed that Tesla’s brakes were faulty and dangerous to drivers.
The incident drew enough heat to warrant a public apology from Tesla, as it assured customers that they would start to take complaints more seriously. In February, the electric-car company was summoned by the Chinese government for similar accusations with Elon Musk himself having to chime in at one point and reassure Chinese officials that Tesla’s cars could not spy on anyone. “Whether it’s Chinese or U.S., the negative effects if a commercial company did engage in spying – the negative effects for that company would be extremely bad,” Musk said.