Faulty Takata Airbags Caused Recall of 14,000 Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S
A Tesla Model S electric car is seen at its dealership in Seoul (Photo: REUTERS)

Chinese regulators announced on Friday that Tesla will recall 14,123 imported Model S cars in the country due to life-risking issues in its airbags. According to the report of the United States Department of Transportation, the airbags are initiated by a propellant that might damage the bags causing serious injuries or death.

The recall of the model is part of a global crackdown of cars equipped with Takata front passenger airbags. The department noted that around 37 million vehicles that include known brands like Toyota and Ford.

Tesla announced on its Support blog that they have started their global campaign of recalling their sedans that use Takara airbags. The company noted that some factors including age caused the defects in the airbags. Model S vehicles, Roadster, Model X, and the Model 3 are not included in the recall. Based on the notice posted in China's State Administration for Market Regulation, the recall in China only included Model S cars build between February 2014 and December 2016.

Recently, Tesla is aggressive in its promotion of electric cars in China which aims to phase-out fossil-fueled cars to lessen carbon emission in the country. The recent event is a huge setback for the company and the nation's campaign. Recently, China signed an agreement that allows Tesla to build its first Gigafactory outside of the United States in China which will manufacture Model 3 cars for the Chinese market.

China's market is promising for Tesla. However, over the past few months, the company became a concern to the escalating trade tensions and the decreasing subsidies from the Chinese government to electric vehicles. The company made 7.6 percent cut on the price of its Model 3 for China to ease itself with heavy tariffs on imported cars.

Previously, 8.898 Model S vehicles in China was recalled by Tesla due to corroding bolts although there were no records of accidents or injuries during that time.

Elon Musk revealed that he will lay-off 7 percent of Tesla's workforce because of the huge setback in China. The CEO said that he was left with no choice but to reduce its number of full-time employees explaining that the firm grew by 30 percent in 2018 which was more than the company could support.

He said that the company plans to retain only its most critical temps and contractors. He added that Tesla needs to make the personnel cut while increasing the Model 3 production rate and making many manufacturing engineering improvements in the coming months.

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