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Tesla crash in Guangdong sparks new round of safety concerns
Published: May 08, 2021 01:16 AM
People sit inside a Tesla car displayed at a store in Beijing. Photos: VCG

People sit inside a Tesla car displayed at a store in Beijing. Photos: VCG


 
A Tesla rear-ended a truck in Shaoguan, South China's Guangdong Province, on Friday, killing the driver of the electric car, media reports said.
 
The cause of the accident is still under investigation, the Shaoguan public security bureau said in a statement on Friday, without mentioning Tesla. The Shaoguan public security bureau could not be reached for comment as of press time.
 
Tesla officials told China News Service on Friday that they are also waiting for the results of the investigation and do not know the specific situation, media reports said.
 
It came just weeks after a woman surnamed Zhang from Central China's Henan Province climbed onto a Tesla car at Shanghai Auto Show 2021 to protest at a brake malfunction in her Tesla. The incident went viral on China's web platforms.
 
Experts said that the company's destiny hinges on whether a safety investigation involving the case in Henan points to a brake malfunction, and Tesla's sincerity in handling the case.
 
Whether the latest accident in Shaoguan has anything to do with a brake malfunction is still unclear, but the case has drawn hundreds of posts and comments, with many netizens expressing concern over safety problems with the US electric vehicle.
 
The frequent accidents indicate that brake failure is not an isolated problem for Tesla vehicles, the Economic Daily reported on April 23.
 
On April 21, the driver of a Tesla Model 3 in Zengcheng District, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province was suspected to have lost control of the vehicle, which then spontaneously ignited. Brake failure on Tesla cars is not uncommon. According to media reports, there have been more than ten accidents involving Tesla electric cars that went "out of control" in China since 2020.
 
Some industry analysts have suggested that Tesla should be ordered to suspend production and sales until the cause of the accidents is known, but Tesla has not announced plans to stop production and sales so far.
 
China is not the only country to see accidents involving Tesla cars. In April, a Tesla Model S smashed into a tree in Texas and burst into flames, killing two occupants, Reuters reported.

Federal highway safety regulators are investigating 24 accidents involving Tesla vehicles operating on autopilot, another Reuters report said.
 
Tesla did not respond to a Global Times request for comment on the latest crash as of press time.
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