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Tesla Recalls More Than 36,000 U.S.-Built Cars in China over Potential for Touchscreen Failures

By Ding Yi / Feb 08, 2021 01:10 PM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Tesla is recalling two of its most popular models that were made in the U.S. and exported to China due to potential touchscreen problems that could lead to the loss of several safety-related features.

The recall involves 20,428 Model S vehicles manufactured between Sept. 18, 2013 and Feb. 20, 2018 and 15,698 Model X cars produced between March 12, 2016 and Feb. 16, 2018, according to a notice released by China’s State Administration for Market Regulation on Friday.

The problems center around a memory card in the media control unit that powers a touchscreen used by drivers to control vehicle functions like entertainment and navigation. The memory devices in some Tesla cars have a limited “write cycle,” which means when the multimedia memory card hits the 3,000 program-erase cycles set for regular use, touchscreen failures may happen. This could indirectly lead to malfunctions in the cars’ cameras, defrosters, defoggers and turning lights, the notice said.

For the 36,126 Model S and Model X vehicles, Tesla will replace the 8 GB multimedia memory cards with 64 GB versions free of charge to eliminate the potential safety risks, according to the notice.

Apart from selling imported Model S and Model X vehicles in China, Tesla also sells Shanghai-assembled Model 3 and Model Y vehicles in the country, which the U.S. electric carmaker sees as its major sales drivers. The Chinese government has raised sales targets for new energy vehicles, including pure electric, fuel cell and plug-in hybrid cars, to a quarter of all auto sales by 2025 from a previously planned 20%.

In October last year, Tesla announced a recall of 48,442 Model S and Model X vehicles in China over potential suspension problems.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (

Related: Tesla China Apologizes to China’s State Grid After Charging Accident

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