A Tesla Model Y car burst out of control in Chaozhou, Guangdong province on November 5. The driver was preparing to park it in front of his store, however, the vehicle would not respond and began accelerating rapidly.
The Tesla traveled about a mile and a half before slamming into a business. Along the way, it struck two people and injured three others. Sadly, two people died, including a high school student, local news network Jimu News reported. The uncontrollable vehicle was captured on several security cameras.
The driver, a man named Zhang, 55, allegedly had brake problems, according to local traffic police. The video shows that he had pulled over to park the car, but immediately loses control and begins speeding through the city streets, trying to dodge vehicles and passersby.
Tesla said the videos showed that the car’s brake lights did not come on when the car was speeding and that data showed there was no action to step on the brakes during the vehicle’s entire trip.
A Tesla representative told Reuters, “Police are currently seeking a third-party assessment agency to identify the truth behind this accident and we will actively provide any necessary assistance.”
The driver’s family is also waiting for results of the investigation.
Local police reported that the driver of the Model-Y was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In addition, the vehicle was not on autopilot.
A user on Weibo, who identified himself as Zhang’s relative, said that the owner of the Tesla had long been complaining that the brakes were not working properly and that he was unable to park the car because the brake “was hard and could not stop the vehicle after pressing the park button.”
China is the second largest market for vehicles manufactured by Tesla, the tragic accident was trending on the Chinese social network Weibo last on November 13.
As reported by Reuters, Tesla has already had to deal with brake complaints. The company made a statement that a court had ordered a Chinese car owner to publicly apologize and compensate the company, as comments he made to the media about problems with his brakes were inconsistent with the facts and had damaged Tesla’s reputation.
This is not the first time a Tesla vehicle has been involved in tragic accidents in China and around the world.
In China, just a couple of days after the Guangdong incident, Jimu News reported another accident, when a Tesla owner, named Jing, in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, also lost control of his electric car for about a mile and the car was stopped when he crashed into the side of a road.
In 2021, some Twitter users posted videos of fatal accidents in Guangzhou and Guangdong province involving Tesla cars.
At the Shanghai International Motor Show, the company faced public scorn from a user. A very angry Chinese woman climbed on top of a Tesla Model 3 and shouted that Tesla’s brakes were malfunctioning. The video went viral.
According to local Chinese media reports, the woman was detained for five days serving an “administrative detention” sentence.
According to an article by the state-run Xinhua news agency published in 2021, Tesla vehicles had to gain the trust of Chinese consumers and comply with Chinese safety measures. Some owners were unhappy because the brakes failed on their vehicles or caught fire during charging. Similar reports were also posted on the Chinese social network Weibo on several government accounts.
Several months after the incident, in September 2021, Elon Musk praised the Chinese communist regime’s trade policies and affirmed his commitment to China by securing more investment. He said, “My frank observation is that China spends a lot of resources and efforts applying the latest digital technologies in different industries, including the automotive industry, making China a world leader in digitization.”
He added, “Tesla will continue to expand our investment and R&D efforts in China.”
Tesla’s factory in China produces half of the world’s Model 3 and Model Y cars. Despite the impact of the Chinese Communist Party’s “zero-COVID” policy on the drop in production and demand for Tesla vehicles in China, the company still ranks first in electric vehicle sales in the country.
A sign of the relationship between Musk and the Chinese Communist Party is the greeting he sent to the CCP on the Party’s anniversary.
On the CCP’s anniversary, the state-run Xinhua news agency published a propaganda tweet praising the regime for “building a modestly well-off society in all aspects.” Xinhua also claimed that the Party had “achieved a historic solution to the problem of extreme poverty in China.”
Musk responded to Xinhua in a complimentary manner, congratulating the communist regime on its achievements, “The economic prosperity China has achieved is truly amazing, especially in infrastructure! I encourage people to visit and see for themselves.”