After building an impressive Gigafactory in Shanghai, China, Tesla has finally started to ship out cars built there. The first deliveries were made back in December. However, the famed electric vehicle company is now facing scrutiny from the Chinese government for shipping cars with the incorrect computer chips.

According to Automotive News, some buyers of Model 3 EVs built in Shanghai reported that their cars were run with a HW2.5 chip. However, those are not the same as the HW3.0 chip that the cars were ordered with. The HW2.5 chips are less advanced. Specifically, they don’t allow Tesla models to run their full driver assistance programs, like Autopilot or Full-Self Driving (FSD).

From Automotive News:

“The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology urged Tesla on Tuesday to ensure product consistency, quality and safety, according to a statement on the ministry’s website.

“HW3.0 chips are necessary for the full self-driving mode in Tesla’s driver assistance system, a feature that is optional when customers order Tesla cars.

“In a post on its Weibo account last week, Tesla said the swap was due to a lack of supply of the HW3.0 chips and the company would replace the chip for customers who received cars with the HW2.5 systems.”

Tesla has also come under fire in the United States in the past. However, it wasn’t over wrong computer hardware. Many jurisdictions are struggling to figure out exactly how to regulate and/or legislate for Tesla’s Autopilot and FSD mods. There have been a handful of high profile car accidents so far, including a few deaths, resulting from the misuse of these features.

Tesla’s Chinese factory has otherwise been a huge success. According to Bloomberg, the company delivered one-third of all EVs in China last month — about 4,000 units. That’s including the fact that the county’s automotive industry has been decimated by the coronavirus outbreak, stunting overall sales by close to 80%

Tesla is the first foreign car company to be granted permission by China to build a factory in the country without requiring a partnership with an existing domestic automaker. The fact that Tesla exclusively builds and sell EVs was a major factor in that decision, as the country aims to boost the use of EVs among its citizens.


Devon is a writer, editor, and veteran of the online publishing world. He has a particular love for classic muscle cars.