Tesla’s issues with faulty production and inconsistent quality extend outside the U.S. market: As first reported by Bloomberg, the automaker is set to recall close to 30,000 of its imported Model S and Model X cars from China, citing problems surrounding the vehicle’s suspension systems.
Per a statement from China’s State Administration for Market Regulation — a relatively new and broadly empowered agency with functions similar to the SEC, CFTC, FDA, and USPTO in the United States — Tesla’s Beijing branch issued recalls for 29,193 Model X or Model S cars made between September 17th, 2013 and January 15th, 2018. The vehicles built during that roughly four-and-a-half year window may have rolled off the factory line with major suspension defects.
Gizmodo staffer Sam Rutherford helped in translating the agency’s statement, which seems to state that the first issue concerns a connecting rod in the vehicle’s rear suspension, which are prone to warping or snapping off. The second potential problem involves the front suspension, which apparently had issues with ball studs developing small cracks that would cleave them apart overtime.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Tesla recall its vehicles from China. In 2018, the company pulled close to 9,000 Model S vehicles to replace faulty bolts in their steering components. A year later, it recalled more than 14,000 Model S cars as part of an auto-industry-wide crackdown on faulty airbags. Then this past February, it issued another recall of more than three thousand Model X cars, citing problems with steering that could result in a deadly crash.
Aside from those hiccups, Tesla’s track record in China has also included two of its imported Model S vehicles mysteriously exploding while parked — though this was later chocked up to a faulty battery module in the cars involved, rather than a system-wide issue for the line.
On the bright side, the Shanghai Gigafactory that Tesla debuted near the end of last year is still cranking along. Even though it’s only producing the Model 3 locally right now, these cars quickly became the number one pick for consumers across the country looking to pick up an electric vehicle.
We’ve reached out to Tesla about the Market Regulation order, and will update this piece when we hear back, although the likeliness of hearing from the former is effectively zero since the company dissolved its entire PR team.