Earlier today, Reuters issued a brief report stating that Tesla would recall over 1.1 million EVs. Domestic builds as well as imported models were included in the recall. The publication noted that the information came from China’s market regulator, but didn’t provide any details about the reason for the recall.
Reuters wrote that a total of 1,104,622 Tesla models were impacted, including Model S, Model X, and Model 3 EVs that were imported and Model Y and Model 3 vehicles produced locally.
The article was never updated with more details, though, more recently, Reuters published a second article about the same topic. The second article claims Tesla will push a software update to over 1.1 million EVs, according to a Chinese regulator. While the US automaker is using a free software update to address an issue, it’s still considered a recall if the regulator believes it involves a safety issue. Reuters notes that it’s not clear whether drivers could instead opt to return their cars for a refund.
The Chinese regulator is concerned that drivers don’t have the option to turn off regenerative braking in Tesla’s EVs. Moreover, the regulator believes Tesla’s cars should issue more warnings when drivers step hard on the accelerator, since stomping on the accelerator can result in a crash.
The Tesla software update will restore a setting that allows the driver to turn off regenerative braking. It will also add new warnings that alert a driver when they step hard on the accelerator pedal.
Tesla’s vehicles, along with many other EVs, are capable of being driven with one pedal. This means you push the accelerator pedal to progress forward or in reverse, and lift off to slow down and eventually stop. However, there have been many incidents reported in China where Tesla drivers claimed their cars had brake failure. It was later learned that the drivers accidentally pushed hard on the accelerator pedal rather than the brake pedal.
Chinese regulators believe this may not happen as often if the drivers were using both pedals as we do in gas-powered cars. The request for the recall was issued after a Tesla Model Y driver in China lost control and killed two people. Tesla data showed that the driver never applied the brakes during the crash.