Cops near this Chinese city may be banning Tesla cars from highways

Tesla owners say their EVs are being specifically stopped from gaining access to highways.Police officials say Tesla cars aren't specific targets and that they are managing traffic.
By HT Auto Desk
| Updated on: 26 Apr 2021, 09:52 AM
Tesla cars parked one after the other after being stopped from entering a Chinese highway. (Screengrab from video shared on Twitter by @lengshanshipin)
Tesla cars parked one after the other after being stopped from entering a Chinese highway. (Screengrab from video shared on Twitter by @lengshanshipin)

Tesla electric vehicles have been in the middle of several controversies in recent weeks, several of these are in China - the world's biggest automotive market. With concerns ranging from safety and quality checks to possible surveillance by the on-board cameras, it has been a string of crisis-fighting exercises for Tesla here.

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(Also read - 'A little weird': Elon Musk reacts to recent spate of Tesla criticism)

A few Tesla owners have now come out on Chinese social media platforms to point out that their EVs are being halted by police officials from being driven on highways around the city of Guangzhou in the wake of a recent accident here which involved a Tesla. This particular incident, according to state-run Global Times, saw a Tesla catching fire after colliding with a cement barrier and another vehicle. One person died in the accident that took place on April 13.

(Related read: Trouble in paradise? Tesla-China love boat may have hit stormy weather)

This may have raised safety concerns around Tesla models and several owners have now started pointing out that their respective cars are being halted by officials.

Tesla, on its part, issued a statement on Weibo, the micro-blogging Chinese site which is like Twitter. "In order to protect the rights and interests of consumers, we are willing to cooperate fully and provide the raw data of the vehicle half an hour before the incident to the third-party appraisal agency or the technology designated by the government. The regulatory authority or the consumer himself," the statement read.

As for the local police department, it has denied that officials are specifically forbidding entry of Tesla vehicles on to the highways. Instead, it is stated that the measures are being taken in the interest of traffic management. This, however, does not explain Tesla cars lining up one after another here.

Chinese officials are reportedly keeping a close watch on quality-control-related issues and Tesla here is increasingly facing the heat. Apart from bad PR, it could make prospective customers wary of Tesla electric vehicles.

First Published Date: 26 Apr 2021, 09:51 AM IST

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