South Korea launches safety investigation into Tesla vehicles

Tesla Model 3

South Korea said it is investigating suspected safety issues with automobiles made by U.S. automaker Tesla Inc, which is competing strongly with the Korean automaker Hyundai Motor in the South Korean electric vehicle market.

Braking and steering systems which include the Autopilot function were part of the investigation, a transport ministry official informed on Wednesday.

The ministry refused to provide further details but South Korean media said Tesla’s Model 3 was going through investigation, and the investigation might take anywhere from six months to a year.

Tesla would cooperate with officials in the investigation, an official at its South Korean unit said.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board last year mentioned driver errors and Tesla’s Autopilot design as the possible cause behind a January 2018 crash of a Model S in California.

Tesla has cautioned drivers not to entirely depend on autopilot feature for driving.

In Hyundai’s home market, Tesla had its best month in June, with its Model 3 beating Kona EV of Hyundai, and also premium models from BMW and Audi.

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