Tesla's nightmare start to 2022

A Tesla logo on the boot of a Model S sedan

Craig Duff

Posted February 02, 2022


Elon Musk’s electric vehicle company has been beset by wrong sales figures, recalls, and product delays.

Tesla’s not having a great start to 2022.

The electric vehicle company released its 2021 Australian sales figures to the Electric Vehicle Council in January and the phenomenal sales growth saw media outlets lauding the US-based outfit for its performance, with the Model 3 sedan reportedly outselling the Toyota Camry.

But the numbers were evidently wrong. The EVC issued a mea culpa follow-up statement which noted “the Electric Vehicle Council released (electric-car) sales figures for 2021, which showed a massive leap from 2020 numbers.

“While the massive year-on-year leap reported was correct, there was an error in the numbers the (Electric Vehicle Council) was provided relating to Tesla deliveries.

“Due to a human error, the Tesla delivery figures for 2020 were erroneously added to the delivery figures for 2021 by Tesla before the figure was provided to the Electric Vehicle Council.

“So instead of 15,054 Tesla Model 3 deliveries in 2021, the figure reported should have been 12,094. Correcting the total Tesla deliveries (all models) reduces the total number of EVs delivered in 2021 from 24,078 to 20,665."

 

The popular Tesla Model Y SUV is due to arrive in Australia this year.

The popular Tesla Model Y SUV is due to arrive in Australia this year.


Tesla recall

The miscalculation comes just weeks after Tesla was forced to issue a pair of recall notices affecting 7,055 vehicles - around a third of all Teslas sold in Australia.

More than 1,900 Model S sedan owners have been issued notices which state: "Due to a manufacturing issue the secondary bonnet latch may be located in the incorrect position, this could prevent the secondary latch from engaging as designed.”

"If the primary latch is released and the secondary latch is not engaged the bonnet may open without warning. This increases the risk of an accident-causing injury or death to vehicle occupants and other road users."

The popular Model 3 sedan has a wiring issue which the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications says affects 5,143 vehicles.

The recall notice says: "Due to the routing of the rear-view camera cable through the trunk (boot) lid it may become damaged through repeated opening of the trunk lid. This will result in the rear-view camera not displaying on the centre console."

Meanwhile 54,000 vehicles have been recalled in the USA to address an issue where the autonomous driving function doesn’t stop at Stop signs.

The American National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website states that Tesla will disable the feature with an over-the-internet software patch.

The “Full Self Driving” software features a "rolling stop" function that lets vehicles to go through Stop-signposted intersections at up to 9km/h.

 

The Tesla Cybertruck show loading a quad bike.

Production of the Tesla Cybertruck has been delayed until 2023.


Cybertruck production stalls

To cap off a bad start to the year, Tesla founder Elon Musk has also confirmed the Cybertruck, which was first shown in late 2019, won’t make it into production until 2023, or two years after it was initially expected to launch.

When asked during a tele-conference in January what was causing the delay, Musk noted that the pricing for the tech-laden ute is the major issue.

“How do we make the Cybertruck affordable?” he pondered.

Rival companies have now beaten Tesla into the ute market. Rivian has started production of its R1T electric ute and Ford’s F150 Lightning is scheduled to go on sale in the US later this year.

Musk did announce some positive news for the company: “2021 was a breakthrough year for Tesla, and for electric vehicles in general,” he noted.

“While we battled, as everyone did, with supply chain challenges through the year, we managed to grow our volumes by nearly 90 per cent last year.”

That saw the company make more than 936,000 vehicles and resulted in a record profit of US$2.3 billion.