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Tesla Model 3 EVs shipped to China with outdated Autopilot system

Tesla acknowledged reports that cars actually don't feature the latest Autopilot hardware in China and promised a remedy as soon as possible.

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- 01:23

Not the best way to build trust with new buyers.

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Tesla Model 3 customers in China aren't delighted after finding out their new electric cars do not feature previously promised Autopilot hardware.

Nikkei first reported on the issue on Wednesday, which cited numerous customers on social media claiming their Model 3 included Autopilot hardware 2.5, and not the most recent hardware 3.0. Those who pre-ordered cars said hardware 3.0 was supposed to be included with the purchase.

However, the outdated system, last seen in Tesla vehicles built before April 2019, was installed instead. The latest hardware includes Tesla's own chip that helps Autopilot recognize traffic lights and cones to maneuver through highway traffic better. It is not the promised full self-driving upgrade Tesla says is on the way.

While the report continued to surface, Tesla took to Chinese social media channel Weibo to issue a statement on the outdated hardware. It said a supply-chain disruption was to blame for the installation of hardware 2.5 and declared all customers will receive hardware 3.0 as soon as possible.

Tesla's local Shanghai factory went offline in February as the coronavirus spread throughout the country, though it still seems odd noting all Teslas made since April 2019 feature hardware 3.0. Tesla did not immediately respond to Roadshow's request for comment.

It's also unclear what kind of timeframe customers will face to have the latest hardware installed, but continued coronavirus risk likely remains a hurdle.

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Originally published March 5.