Tesla says car accident caused by 'wet ground', mocked by Chinese netizens
Published: Mar 14, 2021 05:38 PM
The Tesla's Hainan car accident Photo: Screenshot of Tesla's Sina Weibo

The Tesla's Hainan car accident Photo: Screenshot of Tesla's Sina Weibo

Tesla has released a statement on a car accident in South China's Hainan Province on Thursday, saying that the accident was mainly caused by the wet ground, resulting in a longer braking distance, and the driver who stepped on the brakes too lightly and too late.

The Tesla car bumped into a metal wall at a construction site, with the owner saying that the vehicle skidded and it was hard to put on the brakes.

"Combined with on-the-spot investigation and the scene photos provided by the owner, it can be seen that there is a large amount of sand and gravel on the ground, and it is muddy due to a large amount of water. It is preliminarily judged that the accident is mainly caused by the wet ground and the slight amplitude when the owner first stepped on the brake pedal, resulting in a longer braking distance. No failure of the accelerator pedal, brake system and drive unit was found in the whole testing process," Tesla statement posted on Sina Weibo read.

But a majority of Chinese netizens did not buy the explanation. Some mocked at the car company, saying "Tesla is always innocent!"

According to a video posted by the car owner sitting in the back seat, the Tesla car, which was being driven by a crew member at the same venue with wet and muddy ground for brake testing, missed the brake and went straight through the front metal panel.

But Tesla said in its statement that "the test reproduced the vehicle skidding as described by the owner and stopped at a safe distance under the test condition of continuous high-intensity braking," and "data shows that after the owner stepped on the brake pedal, the vehicle brake system and ABS all worked normally".

According to incomplete statistics, there were more than 10 reports of Tesla's sudden acceleration and loss of brake control in 2020 in China. For all the incidents that got a response, Tesla has always said that "the system was working normally".

Tesla has had hundreds of incidents of sudden acceleration or brake failure in the US, all of which, according to US National Highway Safety Bureau investigations, were caused by "driver pedaling by mistake".

Another similar brake accident was recorded on March 2 in China. Sina Weibo user Rock Zhang RSZ said that his mother's Model 3 automatically accelerated after leaving the garage and the brakes failed. The car ran across two blocks and hit a concrete block before coming to a stop. 

"Tesla's customer service responded that, based on background data, the driver had mistaken the accelerator for the brake. The response does not hold Tesla responsible for any design flaws or liability. I'm not going to fix or sell the broken car but scrap it directly. I wanted to say good-bye to Tesla," said Rock Zhang RSZ.

Some netizens commented that "it is just too difficult for people to operate two pedals and all Tesla drivers can't tell the accelerator from the brake".

"When something goes wrong with Tesla, it's either the fault of driver or the road, and Tesla is always flawless. Tesla has done something that no other manufacturing enterprises in the world can do," wrote Sina Weibo user Huiyiruge on Sunday.

Back in January, Tesla apologized to State Grid after wrongly blaming it for a charging failure in East China's Jiangxi Province.

Global Times