Tesla recalls one in every four Model Ys it has made in the first 1o months of the year to fix faulty steering

according to a statement, recall of 285,000 cars in China, battling an image problem

Tesla will recall more than 20,000 of its bestselling made-in-China Model Y sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) to fix a steering issue.

The US electric vehicle (EV) giant will recall 21,599 Model Ys produced in Shanghai between February 4 and October 30, or almost one in every four SUVs assembled in the first 10 months of the year, according to a statement by the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR). It needs to fix a faulty steering knuckle, which may break under extreme conditions and cause the vehicle to lose control.

This is not Tesla’s first recall and could hurt its sales in China, the world’s largest EV market.

“The recall will deter some Tesla supporters from buying its vehicles,” said Eric Han, a senior manager with Shanghai-based business advisory Suolei. “All eyes will be on China’s Tesla competitors to see whether they can narrow the gap with the market leader.”

Tesla is the runaway leader in the country and was outselling its closest competitor five-to-one as recently as September. Since then, Chinese home-grown EV players NIO, Xpeng and Li Auto have all stepped up their pursuit of the US carmaker, with each reporting a record number of deliveries in November.

In June, Tesla issued a recall of 285,000 cars in China to fix defective cruise-control functions. But these repairs were conducted through over-the-air software updates. The Model Y, which unexpectedly went on sale on New Year’s Day in a stealth launch by Tesla, is also battling an image problem, after customers complained about receiving cars with USB ports that did not perform all of their stated functions. This has been blamed on the global semiconductor chips shortage.

Tesla does not publish monthly delivery figures for China. But, according to the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), it delivered more than 56,000 vehicles in China at its peak in September, double the total deliveries by NIO, Xpeng and Li Auto.

The following month, however, of the 54,391 vehicles that rolled out of the US carmaker’s plant in Shanghai’s Lingang free-trade zone, only 13,725 were delivered to mainland Chinese buyers.

On the other hand, in November, Xpeng delivered 15,613 vehicles, up 270 per cent from a year ago; NIO reported 10,878 deliveries for the month, more than doubling last year’s number, and Li Auto delivered 13,485 units, a surge of 190 per cent year on year.

The CPCA forecast in mid-2021 that total EV deliveries on the mainland would more than double to 2.4 million units this year, buoyed by Beijing’s decision to achieve carbon neutrality in 2060. UBS forecast that three out of every five new cars on the mainland’s roads will be powered by electricity in 2030, compared with last year’s EV use rate of 6 per cent.

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