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

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 canceling the charge. The notice warns of the severe 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 cars impacted in New Zealand. This incident highlights the potential safety challenges Chinese EV manufacturers may face as they expand globally.

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 entered various markets, including Europe, Southeast Asia, and Australia/New Zealand.

However, the path has been challenging. The Ora recall comes 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 disrupt overseas markets with a demand for affordable electric vehicles.

Major automakers, including American companies, are concerned 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 consumers’ trust, especially in regions where perceptions of Chinese-made products may still be evolving.

While Chinese EV brands hold a competitive edge in 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.

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