Tesla is voluntarily recalling imported Model S and Model X vehicles in China due to potential suspension issues.
The recall, which impacts 29,384 US-made cars, is being questioned by the automaker who says it is unnecessary.
The impacted Model S/X vehicles were manufactured between September 2013 and January 2018 at Fremont. The issue revolves around a faulty round head screw on either the front or rear suspension connecting rod. The automaker will replace the necessary parts free of charge.
In a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and posted to their website, Tesla’s Managing Counsel Elizabeth Mykytiuk argues there is no defect, and the problem lies with driver behaviour.
“Tesla has not determined that a defect exists in either the Front Suspension Aft Link or the Rear Suspension Upper Link & believes the root cause of the issue is driver abuse, that driver usage & expectation for damageability is uniquely severe in the China market.”
Mykytiuk adds that even if there is a problem, it is extremely rare and will not put the occupants of the vehicle in danger.
“The occurrence of such failures in China (approx. 0.1%) and elsewhere (less than 0.05%) remains exceedingly rare and if a failure does occur, it is immediately apparent to the driver.”
Tesla does seem to have a convincing argument. The vehicles were all made in California and imported into China, so any problems would also be evident in Canada and the US. To date, there has been no similar recall in North America.