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Tesla issued a massive recall recently, addressing issues with its Autopilot semi-autonomous driving feature. This is the largest recall in the world for Tesla to date, possibly involving all of the Tesla EVs sold in China thus far. This recall addresses issues we’ve seen in the United States with the Autopilot feature being misused while driving.

Radar mapping of viewing range of the Tesla Autopilot system.
Tesla Autopilot | Tesla

How many Tesla vehicles face this recent recall?

A grand total of 1,610,105 Tesla vehicles face this recall. The production dates of these models are from August 26, 2014, to December 20, 2023. This timeline covers the entire time the company has been operating in China. The recall impacts Model 3 and Model Y vehicles produced locally, and imported Model S, Model X, and Model 3 vehicles.

What caused this massive recall?

The driver can often abuse the automatic assisted steering function, or Autopilot system in Tesla vehicles. According to CNN Business, the term used is that drivers could “misuse” the functions of this system, which increases the risk of collisions. In a nutshell, the recall is precautionary, addressing the fear that some drivers won’t pay attention while using a system that can do the driving for them.

Several instances of drivers failing to pay attention while the Autopilot system is functioning led to deadly crashes in the United States. This caused Tesla to pull back the system functions here, and now it’s China’s turn to have the tech rolled back by the EV giant.

What’s the fix for the Tesla recall?

Thankfully, many Tesla EVs have Over-the-Air (OTA) software upgrade functionality. This enables upgrades to the system without a visit to a local service location. Tesla will provide recalled vehicles with newly developed features. This change will urge the driver to stay alert and perform the driving duties.

This recall will be implemented in phases. Vehicles without OTA systems will require a visit to a local service location to upgrade the vehicle free of charge.

Is there an additional Tesla recall?

Tesla is also recalling 7,538 Model S and Model X vehicles with production dates between October 26, 2022, and November 16, 2023, effective immediately. These vehicles face an issue with the doors unlocking in a crash. While the crash-side door will lock to secure occupants, the non-crash-side door could disengage from the latch. This leaves the door in a non-locked state.

Tesla will also upgrade the software for these vehicles. This will ensure the programming is in place to lock doors on both sides in the event of a crash. Tesla will complete this software update through OTA technology as well.