BEIJING, May 12 (Reuters) – Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) has told China’s market regulator it will roll out software updates to more than a million vehicles to allow changes in braking methods and more warnings about accelerator pedal use. Friday.
The regulator added that the action is described as a “product recall” under Chinese regulations, but it was not immediately clear whether drivers might need, or would be eligible, to return vehicles to Tesla for a refund.
Starting May 29, the US automaker will release software updates over the air for 1.1 million units of its Model S, Model X, Model 3 and Model Y vehicles, both imported and made in China, the State Administration for Market Regulation said in a statement.
It said the vehicles in question did not allow drivers to turn off regenerative braking or provide sufficient warnings when drivers stepped on the accelerator too hard, which could increase crash risks.
The update will bring back the option to turn off regenerative braking and warn drivers when they press hard on the accelerator pedal, the statement added.
Regenerative braking saves energy from the process of slowing the vehicle, feeding excess back to the batteries to increase its driving range. Tesla has disabled the option to turn off the technology on cars produced after 2020.
Some consumers in China welcomed the technology, also known as single-pedal driving, because it enabled them to stop the car completely without using the brake pedal.
However, others have complained that it can confuse drivers and increase the risk of being mistaken for speeders.
Chinese police are investigating a Model Y car collision in which a motorcyclist and a high school girl died and three people were injured when the driver lost control of the vehicle last November.
At the time, Tesla said the videos showed the car’s brake lights were not on as it was traveling and the data showed issues such as the lack of any brake action throughout its journey.
Reporting by the Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Jacqueline Wong
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