Safety has always been a priority for Tesla. In an effort to improve the reliability of their cruise-control software, the company has informed customers and regulators of a new software update for 285,520 vehicles in China that will improve driving safety. However, numerous media outlets rushed to publish high-profile headlines announcing the recall of hundreds of thousands of Tesla vehicles made in China due to "Autopilot issues."
Tesla once again faced a stream of false media claims. Here are some high-profile headlines that can mislead readers:
- Tesla Addresses Safety Issue in More Than 285,000 Vehicles in China, The Wall Street Journal
- Tesla to Recall Over 285,000 Cars in China on Autopilot Issues, BNN Bloomberg
- Tesla recalls nearly 300,000 cars in China over cruise control safety issue, CNN Business
Each of these headlines from big-name media—not to mention hundreds of other media outlets—repeat the same loud assertion in their headlines, suggesting that Tesla has problems with an unsafe Autopilot. They suggest that this is why the cars must be recalled for correction, which also raises thoughts that the owners will not be able to use them until the issue is fixed. In reality, the situation is completely different from what the headlines (the sole purpose of which is to get the reader to click on the link) say.
The crux of the matter is that Tesla decided to make some very minor changes to the car software. In order to warn the drivers if they accidentally activated Traffic-Aware Cruise Control, the company will add a sound signal. At the moment, we are talking only about 285,520 Model 3s and Ys, produced in China, as announced by the country's regulator. It is worth noting that the company began to notify its customers about the software update before the official announcement by the Chinese regulator. So, in fact, Tesla will simply release a software update that will add a useful feature to its cars, which has been dubbed by many media as a "recall on Autopilot issues." Tesla owners can safely continue to use their vehicles until the update is released. Once it is released, they will be able to remotely download it to their cars and continue using it.
It should be noted that the sound signal when cruise control is activated is not present in some cars of other manufactures, which unsurprisingly is not a topic for discussion in the media. This simply helps us see how absurd the media situation is when it comes to Tesla specifically. After the manufacturer decided to improve its vehicles, which in itself is very positive news, the media presented the information in such a way that the news began to be negative. Be vigilant and don't let the media manipulate your opinion for their own benefit.
© 2021, Eva Fox. All rights reserved.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.