Currently reading: Chinese authorities address Tesla safety concerns
Tesla Shanghai to improve internal processes following reports of battery fires and unintended acceleration

A group of Chinese market regulators has asked Tesla to take action to improve the build quality of its locally produced cars, following reports from customers of potentially serious abnormalities.

In a post on China's WeChat social network seen by Reuters, the State Administration for Market Regulation said its representatives, along with others from various industry regulatory bodies, had met with Tesla officials "recently" to discuss the concerns. 

According to various reports, defects highlighted in the proceedings include battery fires, unintended acceleration and failed over-the-air software updates in cars produced at Tesla's new Shanghai factory.

In one high-profile incident recently, a stationary Tesla Model 3 caught fire in a Shanghai car park without warning and Tesla blamed damage to the battery pack caused by the owner.

Tesla's Chinese arm has been asked by Chinese authorities to adhere to local law and to protect the rights of its consumers. Reuters quotes a company representative as saying: "We will strictly abide by Chinese laws and regulations and always respect consumer rights."

In a statement, Tesla Shanghai said it "sincerely accepted" the recommendations and that it had "reflected on shortcomings" in its production process. 

News of build quality problems for Tesla's Chinese models comes just a week after the company was forced to issue a wide-reaching recall notice for pre-2018 Model S and Model X cars in the US and Europe. An electrical component fitted to more than 130,000 cars is prone to wear and can cause potentially serious system failures.

Tesla boss Elon Musk recently publicly acknowledged the firm's quality issues, citing rapid production processes as a contributing factor

China is the the American EV maker's second-largest global market, accounting for more than 120,000 sales in 2020. In January 2021 alone, it sold 15,484 Shanghai-built Model Y crossovers and Model 3 saloons. 


Tesla extends recall to UK Model S and Model X owners​

Elon Musk blames production ramp-up for Tesla quality issues​

Tesla previews small electric car for China​

Join the debate

Add a comment…
macaroni 11 February 2021

I don't think the Chinese govt or authorities should be criticising anybody about anything right now

TStag 9 February 2021

Just bear in mind that there may be a bit more to this than meets the eye. Tesla is leading the electric revolution, at a time when the Chinese had hoped that their own brands would gate crash this and force their way in as big global players.

If you take out Chinese owned overseas car makers like Volvo, it's really only MG that's making much headway in Europe. I'd struggle to name another Chinese brand that's doing well outside of China. For the Chinese Government seeing Tesla make huge headway's is probably a concern when the huge number of domestic brands are going nowhere. So protectionism may have something to do with this.

On a side note I do wonder if the Chinese Car brands will not start to fall back at this point. European, Japanese and US car makers are all doing well in China. That must be irritating the government there...

Peter Cavellini 9 February 2021

 Maybe Tesla should slow down the building process?, if Elon Musk is saying that is the problem area, then, surely this should've been picked up by quality control before these cars were delivered?, Musk should now be asking his people how this came to be?, the Buck is on Elon Musks Desk.

Geetee40 9 February 2021

I had to smile the other day when someone was defending Tesla because they were developing new technology. At the end of the day whether it be Tesla, Ford, Toyota or even P&G producing something it comes down to a simple thing - Line Speed.Who remebers when both BMW and Merc took quality hits? One of the major contributing factors was vloume increase and the way to do this is you have to increase your line speed to get more product out of the door; people/machiones have less time to do the same task and this is where errors start t come in. It is where suddenly one station is no longer enough and you need to reconfigure the line to split the operation into 2 processes; but wait what if you have designed your factory for that amount of original stations?

My belief is that Tesla are going through this line speed learning process now and will hit points in the future as they reach certain volume numbers (though they may understand it better next time).

Before peole jump on saying Tesla are breaking new ground - no they are not they have a manufacturing line just like another auto manufcaturer or one that makes iPhones or even saucepans.  

And also to the - well other manufacturers cant seem to get it right. Well if they were still producing a Cortina or Nova then they probably would by now, but you in reality retool every major cycle, so it is a new vehcile - I won't go into torque stations and calibration/angles etc I could bore you for ever