Government launches investigation into suspected Tesla defects
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport has launched an investigation into suspected defects in Tesla electric vehicles (EV).
The ministry said Tuesday it requested the Korea Automotive Technology Institute on July 15 to check for defects in Palo Alto, California-based Tesla's best-selling Model 3.
The inspection, the first for the EV manufacturer in Korea, will mainly focus on the car's autopilot functions, including breaks and cruise control. The Model 3 has faced complaints from customers who claim the vehicle has numerous safety issues.
According to the ministry, inspections can take between six months to two years to finish. Cars will be recalled if defects are found.
Tesla is also under investigation by Korea's Fair Trade Commission (FTC) to have exaggerated its autopilot technology. The EV manufacturer has advertised that its autopilot system not only controls the direction of the vehicle but also controls the speed at which it travels.
However, according to auto industry experts, Tesla’s autopilot system is closer to driver-assistance technology than the kind of full autonomous driving that does not require the help of a driver.
With the growing popularity of EVs locally, more than 7,000 Tesla cars have been sold in the first half of this year. Tesla accounts for 43 percent of the local EV market, beating out local manufacturers Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors.
BY KANG JAE-EUN [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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