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Tesla's honeymoon in China strained by chip downgrade row

Angry owners refuse free upgrade as they hold out for higher compensation

Tesla has pinned high hopes on China, both as a production center and a market.    © Reuters

HONG KONG -- When Chinese authorities took Tesla to task for quietly downgrading a key chip in some of its Shanghai-made vehicles, angry owners cheered.

Earlier this week, Tesla was found to have substituted a previous generation of the control chip, which is responsible for autonomous driving functions, in newly delivered cars despite its spec sheet and marketing materials indicating the latest version would be used. In response, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on Tuesday summoned Tesla executives and instructed the company to clean up its act.

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