China: Tesla, be consistent

Besides the coronavirus outbreak that has disrupted Tesla's production and delivery plans in Shanghai, the electric automaker faces another issue in China: complaining customers and wary government officials in the world's largest market for electric vehicles. China's industry ministry said Tuesday it has urged Tesla to ensure consistency, quality and safety of its products.

That's because some customers complained on Chinese social media that Tesla had used the less advanced HW2.5 chips in some Model 3 sedans made at its new Shanghai plant instead of the HW3.0 chips listed on the spec sheets. The 3.0 chips are needed for the car to run the optional driver assistance system feature called Full Self-Driving Mode.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But on the Chinese microblogging site, Weibo, the auto maker said it had swapped the chips because it lacked supply of the more advanced chip. It said it would replace the chip for those who got cars with the 2.5 chips.

Separately, Reuters has learned Tesla plans to boost car parts production at its Shanghai plant. A document Tesla submitted to the Shanghai government shows it plans to make more battery packs, electric motors and motor controllers there.