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Electric cars in China

Tesla's quiet chip downgrade sparks anger in China

Owners of newly delivered Model 3 cars threaten legal action

Some Chinese Tesla Model 3 buyers are questioning whether the cars they received were equipped as the company promised. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

HONG KONG -- Buyers of Tesla's first batch of Shanghai-made Model 3 cars have threatened to take the U.S. electric vehicle maker to court, accusing it of substituting promised new control chips with an older version without notice.

The incident emerged last week after dozens of Chinese Tesla owners discovered that the part number printed on stickers on the control unit of their newly delivered cars did not match that in the Model 3's information sheets. It turned out that their cars contained the previous generation of the key control chip.

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