Earlier today reports surfaced that Tesla was set to recall close to 30,000 Model S and Model X units due to issues with suspension. Now we are learning that Tesla is arguing the recall saying that it is unnecessary and China is forcing it.
The original report affected Model S and Model X vehicles sent to China between 2013 and 2017. However, those vehicles were produced in the US, and the same suspension was used in all other Model S and Model X produced during that period.
Following the report, Tesla is now arguing the recall with Chinese authorities saying there is no defect. In a letter obtained by Electrek, sent to NTHSA, Tesla’s managing counsel for regulatory affairs, Elizabeth H. Mykytiuk, alleged that China forced Tesla to issue the recall. “Due to the opinion of SAMR/DPAC that the topic required a recall in the China market, Tesla was left with the choice of either voluntarily recalling the subject vehicles or carrying a heavy burden through the Chinese administrative process. While Tesla disagrees with the opinion of SAMR/DPAC, the Company has decided not to dispute a recall for the China market only.”
It appears that Tesla is placing the blame on the drivers. In the letter, Mykytiuk addressed the NHTSA saying: “Tesla has not determined that a defect exists in either the Front Suspension Aft Link or the Rear Suspension Upper Link and believes the root cause of the issue is driver abuse, including that driver usage and expectation for damageability is uniquely severe in the China market. If the customer inputs an abuse load (e.g., curb impact, severe pothole strike, etc.), then the parts may be damaged, leading either to immediate failure or delayed failure from the compounding effects of the initial abuse and subsequent load input.”
According to Tesla, the failure in question happened in less than 0.05% of vehicles outside of China and about 0.1% of vehicles in China.