Get more with myNEWS
A personalised news feed of stories that matter to you
Learn more
Tesla offered free charging to its customers during the coronavirus outbreak. (Picture: Aly Song/Reuters)

Chinese Tesla customers complain about outdated self-driving hardware

Not all Model 3 electric cars come with the latest HW3 hardware as promised, so Tesla says it will upgrade them for free

This article originally appeared on ABACUS

Dozens of Tesla owners in China have apparently discovered that their electric cars aren’t equipped with the hardware they were promised. Owners of Tesla’s Model 3 vehicles manufactured at the Shanghai Gigafactory shared on social media that their vehicles have been equipped with an older version of the company’s self-driving control hardware. Instead of the newer HW3 listed in the vehicle’s documents, owners say they have HW2.5.

The group filed a complaint against Tesla Shanghai with a government-backed consumer rights watchdog, alleging the company is “cheating consumers,” according to a report from National Business Daily. In response to the backlash, Tesla explained on its Weibo account that it sold two different batches of the Model 3 and that cars with HW2.5 would be retrofitted with the newer version for free. It added that there’s no difference in the riding experience between two versions unless the owner selects the full self-driving function, which costs another $6,000 to use.

The US company also said that the upgrades will begin after the Gigafactory reestablishes normal supply, which has been disrupted by the coronavirus epidemic. Following a temporary suspension, Tesla resumed production mid-February. The company just started delivering its first China-made Model 3 cars at the beginning of January.

Purchase the China AI Report 2020 brought to you by SCMP Research and enjoy a 20% discount (original price US$400). This 60-page all new intelligence report gives you first-hand insights and analysis into the latest industry developments and intelligence about China AI. Get exclusive access to our webinars for continuous learning, and interact with China AI executives in live Q&A. Offer valid until 31 March 2020.