Chinese EVs may electrocute people, recalled in Australia for risk of ‘serious injury or even death’

While Chinese EV companies have grown massively popular for being a lot more affordable than their American and European counterparts, a recent spat of recalls, especially in Australia New Zealand has raised some serious questions around safety and quality control

As Chinese electric vehicle (EV) brands gear up to enter the global market, concerns are rising over safety issues, exemplified by a recent recall of the Ora model by Great Wall China (GWC) in Australia.

The recall was issued due to a programming flaw that could result in an electrical arc or electrocution if the charging cable is removed without cancelling the charge. The notice warns of the serious risk of injury or death if an electrical arc contacts the operator or bystanders.

The recall affects 1,659 vehicles in Australia, with an additional 520 vehicles impacted in New Zealand. This incident highlights the potential safety challenges Chinese EV manufacturers may face as they expand globally.

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While recalls are not exclusive to Chinese brands—Tesla, for example, has faced its share of recalls—the Ora recall underlines the importance of building trust among consumers in overseas markets.

Chinese EV brands have already entered various markets, including Europe, Southeast Asia, and Australia/New Zealand.

However, the path has not been without hurdles. The Ora recall comes at a time when Chinese EVs are gaining attention for their disruptive pricing, with models like BYD’s Seagull priced at around $11,000 in China.

Such affordable offerings could potentially disrupt overseas markets where a demand for affordable electric vehicles exists.

Major automakers, including American companies, are expressing concerns about how they will compete on cost with Chinese EVs once they flood the US market.

The recall incident raises questions about the readiness of Chinese EV manufacturers to meet global safety standards and win the trust of consumers, especially in regions where perceptions of Chinese-made products may still be evolving.

While Chinese EV brands hold a competitive edge in terms of scale, cost, and supply chain control, the recall underscores the need for a robust approach to quality assurance and safety to succeed in the increasingly competitive global EV market.

Gaining consumer trust, particularly in regions with established automotive markets, remains a critical challenge for Chinese automakers looking to expand their presence beyond domestic borders.

(With inputs from agencies)

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