From “hardware upgrades” to “recalls,” the ideal car only took five days. The recent Wima recall took 23 days to complete, and Weimar defined it as the “fastest recall in history.” If it’s just a simple comparison, the ideal car will no doubt set a new record. Recalls are a high probability event for new vehicle-building forces, limited by processes and new technologies.
Sina Technology Flower Jian
NiO, Weimar and ideal cars, including outsider Tesla, have all experienced recalls, with the exception of Xiaopeng, which has not actually been recalled. However, China’s new car-building forces and Tesla show a very different attitude.
“Fear” of the new power of car-building
On November 1st, ideal car announced a “free upgrade” for the front suspension hem arm pin and chassis at a media conference, in which the front suspension hem arm pin is too low and the ideal ONE has multiple broken shaft events.
But the wording of the ideal car has been questioned. On the one hand, Ideal Automotive CEO Lee wants to publicly admit that “the upgrade must be due to a defective product, and we have a higher-than-average chance of a crash while driving.” On the other hand, the “recall” was denied at first and replaced by a “free upgrade”.
Liu Jie, vice president of ideal car sales services, stressed that the upgrade and the kind of melancholy vehicle itself in the course of driving failure and quality problems recall, is not the same. On November 6th Ideal Cars finally announced a recall of 10,469 Ideal ONE vehicles, or nearly 50 percent of the vehicles delivered.
Official disclosures show that as of October 31, 2020, Ideal ONE had a total of 97 front suspension collisions, of which more than 10 were removed from the pin of the front suspension hem arm, resulting in a serious accident in which the ideal car broke its shaft after the collision.
In addition to the broken shaft, Ideal ONE has had more than 10 self-ignition accidents and related quality problems caused by chassis involvement in foreign property. Ideal Cars has also introduced an upgrade to the chassis in an upgrade to the front suspension hem arm pin.
After being strongly questioned, the ideal car was changed from a “free upgrade” to a “recall” five days later. On the day of the recall, Ideal Auto also issued an apology letter through official channels, in which It said it had “in-depth reflection” and “decided to initiate an active recall process immediately.”
In an interview with Sina Technology, Liu Jie, vice president of ideal car sales services, said that after the completion of the hardware upgrade program, it is not yet possible to predict whether the accident rate will be reduced, because after the hardware upgrade, the accident rate is also related to the owner’s driving, such as what collision, collision speed and posture, and even the material of the collision can cause various problems.
“I don’t regret buying Ideal ONE, at least I saw the attitude, I knew what was wrong and I was trustworthy,” said one ideal ONE owner after receiving the recall and seeing a letter of apology. He told Sina Technology.
Shortly before the recall, Weimar also experienced a recall, the first recall in the history of Weimar.
On October 28, the State Administration of Market Supervision announced that, from October 28, 2020, Weimar Automobile Manufacturing Wenzhou Co., Ltd. decided to recall some 2020 Wilmast electric vehicles manufactured from June 8, 2020 to September 23, 2020, equipped with ZNP3914895A-75A power batteries, for a total of 1282 vehicles. Vehicles within the scope of this recall are affected by the abnormal lithium analysis of the power battery due to the mixing of impurities in the production process by the core supplier. In extreme cases, it can cause the core to short-circuit, cause the power battery heat to get out of control and create a fire risk, there is a safety hazard.
On September 23rd, before the recall, a Weima EX5 self-ignited in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, and in the early hours of October 5th and 13th, two Weima EX5s in Fujian Province self-ignited, one of which was parked on the side of the road while the other was charged.
Sina Technology learned from within Weima Automobile, on the night of the October 5 self-ignition incident, Weima Automobile has been inquired about the battery problems in this batch, decided to carry out a recall, and by telephone, OTA and other means to inform the relevant owners near the store to replace the battery pack.
However, the night before the recall was issued, another Weimar EX5 self-ignited and exploded at the Institute of Aesthetics in Beijing. In response to this incident, Weimar is still in the process of investigation, no results have been announced, I do not know whether it will cause another round of recalls.
In an interview with Sina Technology, NIO co-founder and president Qin Lihong also spoke about NIO’s recall in 2019, when the already difficult NIO pulled the money out. According to NIO’s second-quarter 2019 results, 4,803 ES8s were recalled due to problems with battery pack modules, accounting for more than half of the vehicles sold, resulting in a recall cost of $339 million.
“How difficult it was for us at the time, but the money was still being pulled out of our pockets.” Qin Lihong told Sina Technology.
Official statistics show that by the end of September 2020, China had implemented 2,119 vehicle recalls, recalling 80.102 million defective vehicles, accounting for about 30% of China’s vehicle stock, ranking second in the world. In the past five years, the number of recalls in China has reached 227 a year, almost equivalent to an average of one recall per working day.
It can be said that recalls in the automotive sector are already common. But for the new car-building forces, the recall means a shake-up of new brands, a blow to consumer confidence in new energy, pressure on corporate costs and an impact on deliveries that have yet to be completed.
NIO and ideal cars are also a microcosm of China’s new car-building forces responding to the recall. Combined with officially disclosed figures, the NIO, which delivered the most cumulative quantities, also exceeded 60,000 vehicles. The remaining Weimar, ideal, not only small delivery, but also face a single model problem, after the recall, if the impact of sales will further increase the survival pressure of enterprises.
Tesla’s recent recall, by contrast, has caused huge controversy, even as much as a “decent recall” of an ideal car.
On October 23rd, Tesla Motors (Beijing) Co., Ltd. announced a recall of nearly 30,000 imported Model S and Model X electric vehicles from October 23 due to safety concerns in the front and rear suspensions.
By the third quarter of 2020, the Model S and Model X had sold more than 60,000 vehicles in China, according to Tesla.
However, Tesla’s attitude changed quickly after the recall announcement. Tesla later said in a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that the vehicle did not need to be recalled because there were no defects in the suspension and that the damage was not a matter of quality, but caused by improper use by the owner. The other thing is that Tesla believes that improper driving by Chinese owners is causing problems with suspensions, not quality problems with the suspension itself, and that there will be no recall outside China.
In the letter, Tesla said: “Because SAMR (National Market Supervision Authority) and DPAC (National Quality Inspection Administration) believe that the vehicles in question need to be recalled, Tesla can only choose to be forced to voluntarily recall the vehicles in question, although Tesla does not agree with the agency’s view, but still chose a voluntary recall program.” “
And that’s not the “innocent” attitude Tesla has shown in the face of accidents that could be caused by quality problems. This year, in a number of “out-of-control driving” accidents, the main characters are Tesla owners, but Tesla gave “no problem with the vehicle,” “there is no fault in the vehicle system,” “the owner on the wrong brakes” and other findings.
If you pull the time back to April 2019, a self-igniting explosion in a vault in a Shanghai neighborhood of Tesla’s old Model S shocked all electric car owners.
Surveillance video showed white smoke billowing from the bottom of a white Tesla parked on the far left side of the footage at 20:15 on April 21, followed by a fire that flashed the surveillance footage and quickly burned around the Tesla. After the fire was put out, four cars were damaged and the surrounding wall was damaged.
A departing Tesla employee told Sina Technology that the incident ultimately resulted in Tesla choosing compensation in the amount of about 10 million yuan. Although it turned out to be self-ignition caused by the battery, the Model S, which was carrying the batch of batteries, was not eventually recalled.
Instead, Tesla solved the problem in a different way. For the Model S, which loads the batch of batteries, Tesla then uses OTAs to lock the vehicle’s battery to 70 percent of its original battery and limit the vehicle’s charging speed.
“Until now, the vehicles involved in the batteries have not been recalled at home and no new batteries have been replaced.” Several Tesla employees told Sina Technology. Tesla has replaced the Model S in the U.S. with the same batch of batteries, according to multiplemedia reports.
Since January 2019, Tesla has carried out three recalls in China, both models of the Model S and Model X, with a cumulative recall of nearly 50,000 vehicles related to airbags, bolts on steering housings and front and rear suspensions, according to the public information.
According to a Tesla insider told Sina Technology, there were no recalls for Tesla’s problems with batteries and chassis.
How do I defend the safety floor?
Qiao Fei, from the Defective Product Management Center of the Chongqing Institute of Metrology and Quality Inspection, said car companies were considering factors such as cost, brand effect and public opinion, which led to a less-than-ideal recall of cars in the Chinese market. At present, defect investigation is still the driving force of the recall of Chinese vehicle products. In the past three years, China’s auto recalls are much smaller than those in Europe and the U.S., and the impact of regulatory investigations into defects is more pronounced, with passive recalls accounting for more than half of the total recalls for the year. The Tesla recall is a passive recall that has been implemented with the forced intervention of the relevant authorities.
He suggested that China’s regulators should scientifically set the cost of breaking the law, increase penalties, strengthen the role of regulatory functions, and use legal means to punish, educate, warn and deter illegal enterprises, and safeguard the safety floor.
In addition, Qiao Fei also believes that In terms of risk assessment, China should communicate in depth with the international mature automotive market in order to achieve the procedural, modular and standardized risk assessment, so that risk assessment and the international market in full integration, mutual recognition.
On this basis, the regulatory authorities should also vigorously build an international information system, the basic situation of vehicle accidents, cause analysis and related defect investigation and other information to share, data sharing and risk transmission, and according to the actual situation in the relevant market, and even the global co-launch of recalls, so as to achieve a non-differentiated recall activities. “In the case of information exchange, in the face of a lot of hard data, inappropriate statements like those of car companies like Tesla are self-unseeded.” He said.
Tesla delivered more than 80,000 vehicles in China in the first three quarters of this year, more than the NIO, Ideal and Xiaopeng cars combined, official data show. However, Tesla’s social responsibility is far from matching sales. “Tesla doesn’t have a social responsibility department in China.” An employee who has left told Sina Technology.
The new force in China’s car-building forces appears more feared in the recall, the more arrogant Tesla appears.