More than 1,000 Teslas recalled in Australia over a steering defect, after fatal crash in China killed 2

A Tesla Model S at a charging station in New York. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

  • Over 1,000 Tesla vehicles were recalled in Australia due to a steering system defect, per the Australian Department of Transport.
  • The defect increases the risk of the vehicle’s electronic assist steering system losing power.
  • The recall followed a fatal accident involving another Tesla in China two weeks ago. 
  • For more stories visit Business Insider.

More than 1,000 Teslas have been recalled by the Australian transport department due to safety concerns, days after a fatal Tesla crash killed two people in China. 

The authorities recalled the vehicles on Wednesday due to a malfunction in the steering system, per an Australian Department of Transport report. The malfunction increases the risk of a serious accident and could result in fatalities, the report states.

According to the report, 1,012 Tesla Model S and Model X vehicles sold between 2017 and 2020 were recalled due to a risk that the electronic power assist steering system in the vehicles may experience a reduction in power, especially on rough roads.

This would necessitate a “greater steering effort” from drivers, according to Tesla’s filings with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Affected vehicle owners have been advised to download a newer version of software to fix the malfunction, or contact an authorized dealer to have the software updated for free, according to the transport department’s report.

This is the second Tesla recall in Australia in the past month. The Australian Department of Transport recalled 326 Tesla Model 3 vehicles two weeks ago over defective seat belts.

The latest recall comes on the heels of a crash involving a Tesla Model Y vehicle in China on November 5 that killed two and injured three others, per Reuters.  

In a harrowing video circulated on Chinese social media, a white Model Y vehicle was shown slowing down in what looked like an attempt by the driver to park, before accelerating, crashing into several pedestrians, and killing a motorcyclist and a high school student on a bicycle.

In an interview with Chinese news outlet Dahe Daily on November 12, the driver of the vehicle, who was identified only as “Zhan,” said he lost control of the vehicle after attempting to park by pressing the park button. Zhan said the car suddenly accelerated to speeds over 100km/h even though he pressed the brake pedal many times. Zhan suffered two fractured ribs and injuries to his leg, his son, Xiao Zhan, told Dahe Daily.

Police investigations into the cause of the accident are still ongoing, per Reuters.  

A verified user on Chinese social media platform Weibo, who claimed to be a relative of the driver, said the crash must have been caused by a technical error in the vehicle, per Bloomberg

Tesla has denied the crash was caused by a malfunction. “Data taken from the car showed no proof the brake pedal had been applied before the crash, and video showed the brake lights remained off,” Tesla said in a statement to Bloomberg. 

Tesla did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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