Tesla car accident owner deletes apology letter two days after issuing; company said move is 'voluntary,' no specific period requirement
Published: May 11, 2022 01:12 AM Updated: May 13, 2022 07:41 PM
Tesla experience center in Shanghai, China Photo: VCG

Tesla experience center in Shanghai, China Photo: VCG

The owner of a Tesla vehicle, who posted an online apology letter Tuesday claiming that the car accident that happened to him in 2020 was his own mistake and that he fabricated the carmaker's brake failure due to "resentment," has deleted the letter on Thursday night. The deletion led to online discussion on whether the owner's apology - which only lasted two days - was out of his own will. In response, Tesla reportedly said the car owner's apology was "voluntary" and there was no specific period requirement on the apology attached to compulsory execution terms. 

According to Chinese news website's report, the Tesla owner surnamed Chen had been notified that if he did not issue the apology letter, he would be detained and fined 20,000 yuan ($2,944). Another Tesla owner who was also involved in suing the company shared his chat message with Chen, indicating that the apology was written by Tesla rather than Chen himself.

Tesla said all the discussion of the apology was witnessed by a judge, and Chen confirmed the content, and then "voluntarily released" it on Weibo, news website reported. "All contents of the letter conforms to facts. The procedures were proper and the car owner issued the apology voluntarily," Tesla was quoted as saying in the report.

The owner said in the apology letter posted on his social media account on Tuesday that he stepped on the wrong pedal when parking his vehicle, causing a collision with other cars in the parking lot. He said he refused at the time to admit it was his mistake and blamed the car's brakes. He also registered with multiple social media platforms in order to spread the news and smear the car maker and its vehicles after the accident.

The owner stated that he has recognized his mistake and the need to apologize to Tesla and people who were misled by his remarks.

On August 12, 2020, a Tesla Model 3 ran out of control in a parking lot in Wenzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province, stopped after hitting over 10 vehicles. The driver was also seriously injured. Multiple testing firms said the brake pedal in the vehicle had not been used in the five seconds before the accident.

The owner was ordered by a local court to apologize to Tesla and pay 50,000 yuan ($7,435.83) in compensation.

Global Times