Tesla’s Autopilot Safety Update Now Applies to All Cars in China

Tesla will be addressing issues with its Autopilot system that could increase the risk of crashes if drivers aren’t paying attention, a software update that will now apply to all cars in China.

For over 1.6 million vehicles manufactured from August 2014 to December 2023, including locally made Model 3, Model Y and imported Model S and Model X vehicles, according to the State Administration for Market Regulation, reports Bloomberg.

The Chinese regulator highlighted concerns that Tesla drivers might misuse Autopilot functions, thereby elevating the risk of collisions and posing safety hazards. This recall is similar to Tesla’s recent response in the United States, following the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) determination that the company needed to do more to ensure proper use of Autopilot.

After installing the software update, Autopilot now reminds you more often if you’re not paying attention when driving. Using the cabin camera, if you’re looking at the display to change music, you’ll get a warning prompt. If you don’t respond, you can get an Autopilot “strike” and lose the functionality for the rest of your current drive. Only 5 strikes are allowed before owners can be temporarily banned from using Autopilot.

The NHTSA has decided to continue its defect investigation, which has been ongoing for years, to monitor Tesla’s effectiveness in addressing issues in approximately 2 million cars.

In addition to the Autopilot-related recall, Tesla is also addressing an issue with 7,538 Model S sedans and Model X sport utility vehicles in China. This recall aims to prevent door latches from disengaging during collisions and applies to vehicles produced between October 2022 and November 2023. The fix for these vehicles will also be implemented through an over-the-air software update.