Tesla crashes in Southwest China’s Chengdu after accelerating by itself, monthly sales in China witness continuous declines
Published: Jun 04, 2021 03:53 PM
Photo taken on Oct. 26, 2020 shows the Tesla China-made Model 3 vehicles at its gigafactory in Shanghai, east China. Photo: Xinhua

Photo taken on Oct. 26, 2020 shows the Tesla China-made Model 3 vehicles at its gigafactory in Shanghai, east China. Photo: Xinhua


A Tesla in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province crashed against a column in a car park on May 25 after accelerating by itself, sparking concerns over suspected brake issues in Tesla cars.

Responding to the incident, Tesla said that no fault was found in the vehicle's braking system and that the incident was a result of the driver's error. The company turned down the request of the client to return the car.

"After reviewing the available data it showed that the driver pressed on the accelerator to reach a maximum speed of 21.68 kmh before the incident and the driver did not press the brake before the collision," said Tesla.

The accident happened when a driver surnamed Zhu was driving his Model Y into the parking lot. The car suddenly accelerated by itself and hit the column, causing serious damage to the car with all airbags being deployed, according to media report.

"I was pressing the gas pedal lightly to find a park lot but the car suddenly accelerated. Before I knew it, the car hit a column. Everything happened in two seconds," Zhu said, adding that similar incidents had also happened before.

"I no longer feel safe driving this car," Zhu said, asking whether he could return the car.

Tesla said that it has provided detailed vehicle driving data to the driver and suggested that car owners introduce a third-party authoritative, which was refused by Zhu as he does not trust the data provided by Tesla.

"I'm not the only one. So many car owners have the same problem. The system must be defective," Zhu said.

Zhu's case is among a rising number of claims of sudden unintended acceleration involving Tesla vehicles that have been made public over recent months.

The most publicized one involved a dramatic protest over Tesla's malfunctioning brake systems at the Shanghai auto show in April.

The protest was followed by a Tesla car crash in April into a wet market in East China's Jiangsu Province, causing three injuries and another crash in South China's Guangdong Province in May, which killed the driver of the electric car, all involving suspected brake failures of Tesla cars.

Following customer concerns, Tesla saw its China sales drop 27 percent in April from March.

Statistics from the China Passenger Car Association showed that Tesla sold 25,845 EVs in April in China, down 27.15 percent from March's 35,478 vehicles.