Tesla Refuses to Compromise in Face of “Unreasonable Demands” after Angry Car Owner Protested at Shanghai Auto Show

Tesla told Chinese consumers that it will not concede to “unreasonable demands”, in response to controversy about a car owner protesting the automaker’s alleged quality-control issues on the opening day of the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show on Monday.

Wearing a white T-shirt with red Chinese characters reading “Brakes Failed”, the woman climbed on top of a red Model 3 at Tesla’s booth and yelled that the US carmaker has defective braking systems, according to videos and photos that went viral on social media. Security guards could be seen trying to conceal her from the onlookers with umbrellas and eventually dragging her away.

Tesla said the woman is a car owner from Henan province, who is involved in a February traffic accident in which her Tesla car crashed into another vehicle. The woman claimed that the incident was caused by Tesla’s faulty brakes and asked for a full refund on the car. However, the company said the car crash happened due to excessive speed and during the past two months, it has been actively negotiating with the woman in an attempt to find a solution. “However, the car owner rejected all the plans we proposed,” the automaker said.

“We value every client, therefore we publicly pledge to take full responsibility if there are any issues regarding Tesla’s products,” Tesla said in a statement posted on its Chinese social media page late Monday, adding that it will also adopt an uncompromising attitude towards “unreasonable demands”.

The California-based company emphasized that it is willing to cooperate with Chinese national third-party institutions in conducting quality tests, through which it hopes to win consumers’ confidence and trust.

(Source: Weibo)

The incident takes place as Tesla faces growing scrutiny from authorities in China.

In February, Chinese regulators summoned Tesla over safety and quality issues, saying that they had recently received complaints about abnormal acceleration and battery fires. Tesla responded that it would strengthen self-inspection and its internal management.

SEE ALSO: Tesla Responds to Braking System Failure Controversy in China Amid Social Media Frenzy

The Chinese military has banned Tesla cars from entering its building complexes, citing national security concerns over the in-vehicle cameras, Reuters reported in March. Separately, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Chinese government has restricted the use of Tesla vehicles by military personnel and employees of sensitive state-owned companies. Industry watchers said that the move echoed Washington’s actions against Huawei.

In 2019, Tesla became the first foreign car manufacturer to operate a wholly-owned factory in China with its Shanghai plant. The country is Tesla’s second largest market globally, trailing only its home market of the US. The electric carmaker sold 120,000 units in China last year, accounting for about 30% of its 2020 deliveries.

Tesla has become the world’s most valuable automaker by market capitalization, despite an output that is far lower than the likes of Toyota, Volkswagen and General Motors. Earlier this month, the company announced better-than-expected first-quarter results, saying it delivered 184,000 vehicles worldwide, beating Wall Street’s estimates of 172,230.