A global shortage of automotive microchips shook the auto industry, shaving off global vehicle production by 5 million units. On the other hand, Tesla racked up sales records, ending the year with twice the amount of units sold in 2020, unhindered by the crisis, New York Times reported.
But sources now reveal that the electric vehicle pioneer tweaked the electric control unit, removing one or two components in the steering racks of some Model 3 and Model Y units made in Shanghai to avert the industry-wide shortage, Reuters reports.
The EV manufacturer failed to disclose this exclusion that affects tens of thousands of units destined for clients in China, Australia, the UK, and other parts of Europe. It is unclear if the exclusion affected units manufactured or shipped to the United States.
The global chip shortage affected leading automakers like GM, Ford, and Honda, leading to factory closures that ultimately led to empty dealer car lots and a sudden surge in new and used vehicle prices. Industry insiders warn that the microchip shortage could continue into 2022.
The exclusion of components means Tesla made changes beyond what they had made public to avert the crisis and keep sales going and units in production rolling in the last quarter of 2021.
According to two Tesla employees, the exclusion will not pose any safety issues but affect driverless functionality on affected units requiring a service visit.