Tesla Apologizes For Blaming Charging Failure on China’s State Grid

The owner of a Tesla Model 3 in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province complained that his car was unable to start after charging at one of Tesla’s supercharger stations. (Source: Tesla)

Tesla apologized on Monday for asserting blame on the State Grid following a charging incident with one of its vehicles in east China. 

The owner of a Tesla Model 3 in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, surnamed Tu, complained that his car was unable to start after charging at one of its supercharger stations, along with a problem with its power windows. It was eventually discovered that the vehicle’s inverter was damaged, according to Chinese media.

A member of Tesla’s service staff said the issue was caused by an overload current during charging, and was not a vehicle failure. The staff member suggested that the current running through the national grid was too high, which caused the overload and burned out the inverter.

The incident sparked a heated discussion on China’s Twitter-like Weibo, which prompted the State Grid Corporation’s Nanchang branch to refute the allegations.

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“Our power grid has been operating at a stable voltage and no abnormality has been detected. The surrounding equipment of the charging poles was also operating normally,” the grid operator said in a statement late Sunday.

It added that Tesla vehicles are connected to the charging station by the company’s own charging devices, and not directly to the power supply circuit.

“We suggest Tesla conduct a professional investigation into the charging failure,” it said. 

On Monday morning, Tesla apologized to the State Grid in a statement on its Weibo account, saying that the conversation between the staff member and the customer was recorded and edited.

“We are deeply sorry for the misunderstanding and would like to apologize to the Nanchang Power Grid for the inconvenience caused. Currently, we have already resolved the problem with the customer, and are carrying out tests and investigations on the cause of this failure,” the EV maker said. The post included a video apology from the service staff.