Recall the ``American'' arrogance of big Tesla

From "hardware upgrade" to "recall", the ideal car only took 5 days.

The recent recall of Weimar Motors took 23 days. Weimar Motors defined it as "the fastest recall in history." If it is just a simple comparison, the ideal car will undoubtedly refresh the historical record.

For new car forces, due to the limitations of craftsmanship and new technologies, recalls are a high probability event. At present, except for Xiaopeng's no actual recall experience, Weilai Automobile, Weimar Automobile and Ideal Automobile, including the outsider Tesla, have all encountered the recall. It's just that the attitude of China's new car power and Tesla is completely different.

"Fear" new car-making forces

On November 1, Ideal Auto announced at the media communication meeting a "free upgrade" for the front suspension lower arm ball pins and chassis. Among them, the front suspension lower arm ball pins are too low and the ideal ONE has repeatedly broken shafts. The incident is related.

But the wording of the ideal car was questioned. On the one hand, Li Xiang, CEO of Ideal Auto, publicly admitted that “the upgrade must be due to a defective product. We are more likely to crash while driving than average.” On the other hand, he denied the “recall” at the beginning. , Replaced by "free upgrade".

Liu Jie, Vice President of Ideal Auto Sales and Services, emphasized that upgrades are different from recalls of melancholic vehicles that have malfunctions and quality problems during driving. On November 6, Ideal Motors finally announced the recall of 10,469 Ideal ONEs, accounting for nearly 50% of the delivered vehicles.

Officially disclosed information shows that as of October 31, 2020, a total of 97 front suspension collision accidents have occurred in Ideal ONE. Among them, the front suspension lower swing arm ball head has fallen out of the ball pin in more than 10 cases. A serious accident in which the shaft breaks after a collision.

In addition to broken shafts, Ideal ONE has also experienced more than 10 spontaneous combustion accidents and related quality problems caused by foreign objects in the chassis. In announcing the upgrade to the lower arm ball pins of the front suspension, Ideal Car also introduced an upgrade to the chassis.

After being strongly questioned, the ideal car changed its name after 5 days, from "free upgrade" to "recall". On the day of the recall, Ideal Automobile also issued an apology letter through official channels. In the letter, Ideal Automobile stated that after “deep reflection”, it “decided to immediately initiate the voluntary recall procedure”.

In an interview with Sina Technology, Liu Jie, the vice president of ideal car sales and services, said that after completing the hardware upgrade procedure, it is not yet possible to predict whether the accident rate will decrease, because after the hardware upgrade, the accident rate is also related to the driving of the car owner, such as The collision, the speed and posture of the collision, and even the material of the collision may cause various problems.

After receiving the recall message and seeing the letter of apology, an ideal ONE owner said, "I don't regret buying the Ideal ONE. At least I have seen the attitude. I will correct my mistakes and be trustworthy." He told Sina Technology.

Shortly before the recall of Ideal Motors, Weimar Motors also experienced a recall, which was also the first recall in the history of Weimar Motors.

On October 28, the State Administration of Market Supervision issued an announcement stating that Weimar Automobile Manufacturing Wenzhou Co., Ltd. has decided to recall from June 8, 2020 to September 23, 2020 from October 28, 2020. Part of the 2020 Wilmaster electric vehicles equipped with power batteries with cell models ZNP3914895A-75A, a total of 1282 vehicles. Vehicles within the scope of this recall have caused abnormal lithium evolution in power batteries due to impurities mixed in by the battery supplier during the production process. In extreme cases, the battery may be short-circuited, causing thermal runaway of the power battery and a risk of fire, which poses a safety hazard.

Before the recall, a Weimar EX5 in Wenzhou, Zhejiang ignited spontaneously. In the early mornings of October 5 and 13, two Weimar EX5s in Shaowu, Fujian Province spontaneously ignited. One of them was parked on the side of the road while the other It is out of charge.

Sina Technology learned from Weimar Motors that on the night of the spontaneous combustion incident on October 5, Weimar Motors had already inquired about the battery problems in this batch, decided to recall, and notified the relevant car owners by telephone, OTA, etc. Go to the nearest store to replace the battery pack.

However, the night before the recall announcement, another Weimar EX5 spontaneously ignited and exploded at the Institute of Mechanics in Beijing. Regarding this incident, Weimar is still in the process of investigating and the results have not yet been announced. I wonder if it will cause a new round of recall.

Qin Lihong, co-founder and president of NIO, also talked about NIO's recall in 2019 in an interview with Sina Technology. NIO, who was already very difficult at the time, still took out the money. According to the disclosure of Weilai's financial report for the second quarter of 2019, 4803 ES8 recalls occurred due to problems with battery pack modules, accounting for more than half of the vehicles sold, resulting in a recall cost of 339 million yuan.

"It was difficult for us at that time, but we still took the money out of our pockets." Qin Lihong told Sina Technology.

Official statistics show that as of the end of September 2020, China has implemented a total of 2,119 car recalls, recalling 80.102 million defective vehicles, accounting for about 30% of China's car ownership, ranking second in the world. In the past five years, the number of recalls per year in my country has reached 227, which is almost equivalent to one recall event every working day.

It can be said that recalls are already very common in the automotive field. But for new car forces, the recall means shaking new brands, hitting the confidence of new energy consumers, putting pressure on business costs and affecting delivery that has not yet reached a scale.

Weilai and Ideal Auto are also a microcosm of China's new car forces responding to the recall. Based on official data, Weilai, which has the largest cumulative delivery volume, has only exceeded 60,000. The remaining Weimar and Ideal not only have a small delivery scale, but also face the problem of a single model. After the recall, if the sales are affected, the company's survival pressure will be further increased.

In comparison, a recent recall by Tesla has caused huge controversy, and it is no less than a "decent recall" of an ideal car.

Arrogant outsider

On October 23, the Defective Product Management Center of the State Administration of Market Supervision and Administration issued a news that Tesla Motors (Beijing) Co., Ltd. announced that due to the safety hazards of the front and rear suspension, a total of nearly 30,000 imported vehicles have been recalled since October 23. Model S and Model X electric vehicles.

According to statistics disclosed by Tesla, as of the third quarter of 2020, the sales of Model S and Model X in the Chinese market have exceeded 60,000.

However, after the announcement of the recall, Tesla's attitude quickly changed. Tesla subsequently stated in a letter submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that the vehicle does not need to be recalled because the vehicle suspension is not defective and the damage is not a quality problem, but caused by improper use by the owner. The implication is that Tesla believes that the Chinese car owner's improper driving caused suspension problems, not the quality of the vehicle suspension itself, and will not be recalled outside of China.

In the letter, Tesla stated: “Because SAMR (State Administration for Market Supervision) and DPAC (Defective Product Management Center of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine) believe that relevant models need to be recalled, Tesla can only choose to be forced to recall relevant vehicles voluntarily. Although Tesla disagrees with the views of the aforementioned agencies, it still chose the voluntary recall program."

And this is not Tesla's "innocent" attitude in the face of accidents that may be caused by quality problems. This year, in many "driving out of control" accidents, the protagonist is the Tesla owner, but Tesla often gives the results of investigations such as "the vehicle has no problem", "the vehicle system is not faulty", and "the owner applied the wrong brake." .

If you bring the time back to April 2019, the spontaneous explosion of an old Tesla Model S in the basement of a residential district in Shanghai shocked all electric car owners.

The surveillance video showed that the recording time was at 20:15 on April 21st. The white Tesla car parked on the far left of the video in the video suddenly emitted white smoke from the bottom of the car, and then a fire broke out to make the surveillance screen completely shiny. , The fire burned rapidly around Tesla. After the fire was extinguished, a total of four vehicles were killed and the surrounding walls were also damaged.

A Tesla employee who has resigned told Sina Technology that Tesla ultimately chose to compensate for the incident, which was about 10 million yuan. Although it was confirmed that spontaneous combustion was caused by the battery, the Model S equipped with this batch of batteries was ultimately not recalled.

Instead, Tesla solved this problem in another way. For the Model S loaded with this batch of batteries, Tesla subsequently locked the vehicle's battery power at 70% through OTA and restricted the vehicle's charging speed.

"Until now, the vehicles involved in this batch of batteries have not been recalled in the country, and they have not been replaced with new batteries." Several Tesla employees told Sina Technology. According to reports from many foreign media, Tesla has replaced the battery for the Model S that uses the same batch of batteries in the United States.

Based on public information statistics, since January 2019, Tesla has conducted three recalls in China, all of which are Model S and Model X models. The cumulative number of recalls is nearly 50,000. The issues involved are airbags and steering casings. Body bolts and front and rear suspension.

According to a Tesla insider told Sina Technology, there were no corresponding recall cases for Tesla's previous battery and chassis problems.

How to defend the safety limit?

Qiao Fei, from the Defective Product Management Center of Chongqing Institute of Metrology and Quality Inspection, said that factors considered by car companies include cost, brand effect and public opinion, which has led to unsatisfactory car recalls in the Chinese market. Currently, defect investigation is still the driving force behind the recall of Chinese vehicle products. From the perspective of the past three years, the scale of China's auto recalls is much lower than that of European and American countries, and the impact of defect investigations by regulatory agencies is more obvious. The number of passively recalled vehicles accounted for more than half of the total number of recalls in the year. This Tesla recall is a passive recall implemented under the mandatory intervention of relevant departments.

He suggested that China's regulatory agencies should scientifically set the cost of violations, increase penalties, strengthen the role of regulatory functions, and use legal means to punish, educate, warn and deter illegal companies to defend the safety limit.

In addition, Qiao Fei also believes that in terms of risk assessment, China should have in-depth exchanges with the internationally mature automobile market to realize the proceduralization, modularization and standardization of risk assessment, so as to fully integrate risk assessment with the international market and realize mutual recognition. .

On this basis, the regulatory authorities should also vigorously build an international information system to share the basic situation of vehicle accidents, cause analysis, and related defect investigations, to achieve data sharing and risk transmission, and in accordance with the actual situation in the relevant market, even Coordinated initiation of recalls worldwide, so as to realize the undifferentiated development of recall activities. "In the case of information exchange, in the face of a large number of conclusive data, improper remarks similar to Tesla and other car companies are self-defeating." He said.

Official data show that Tesla delivered more than 80,000 vehicles in the Chinese market in the first three quarters of this year, which is more than the total of Weilai, Ideal and Xiaopeng Motors. However, Tesla's social responsibility is far behind sales. "Tesla does not have a social responsibility department in China." A resigned employee told Sina Technology.

The more fearful the new Chinese car-building forces appear in the recall, the more Tesla appears to be arrogant.


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