Tesla secures public apology from Chinese EV owner who protested at events

  • Ms Zhang publicly protested against what she claimed were brake failure-related issues in a Model 3 unit.
Tesla
File photo of a protester alleging that Tesla EVs have brake-related issues, during the Shanghai Auto Show in 2021.
Tesla
File photo of a protester alleging that Tesla EVs have brake-related issues, during the Shanghai Auto Show in 2021.

Tesla repeatedly found itself in an embarrassing situation when a Chinese woman kept showing up at its stores and events in the country to publicly protest against what she alleged was a brake failure issue in one of the units made by the US electric vehicle giant. Now, the company has managed to get a court order that directs the protester - known as Ms Zhang - to issue a public apology after it was proven that the issue she was highlighting didn't actually exist.

Ms Zhang publicly protested against what she claimed were brake failure-related issues in a Model 3 unit that belonged to one of her friends. Her first such protest was at the Tesla booth at the Shanghai Motor Show in 2021 and she was arrested for it. At the time, she had climbed on top of a Tesla show car and shouted anti-Tesla slogans.

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Tesla took on Ms Zhang through its official account on Chinese social media sites. The company claimed she had brought a crashes Tesla EV to one of its stores in the country and even brought models to pose next to it to highlight her claims of quality concerns. This Tesla approach on China's social media sites backfired to an extent as many people at large did not like the confrontational approach of the company even as Tesla denied reports of any brake malfunction issue in any of its models.

Also Read : Chinese EV shoppers unhappy with Tesla price hikes

The matter eventually made its way to courts where, it is reported, an independent party was brought in to inspect the vehicle. This after Ms Zhang reportedly prevented Tesla officials to check the car. Eventually, it was found that there were no issues pertaining to brake malfunction.

The Weiyang District People’s Court in Xi’an has now directed Ms Zhang to issue a public apology to Tesla and even pay 2,000 yuan (approximately 24,000) to cover the legal costs.

First Published Date: 24 Nov 2023, 10:37 AM IST
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