Chinese consumers worry over Tesla’s safety system after accident causes one death, one injury in E.China: report
Published: Feb 20, 2023 04:02 AM
Tesla Photo:Xinhua

Tesla Photo:Xinhua

Concerns over Tesla's safety problems have been rising in China over the weekend, and the sentiment "has affected sales" - according to some media reports - after an accident related to the US electric carmaker's Model 3 caused one death and one injury in Ruian, East China's Zhejiang Province on Friday.

The accident is still under investigation, according to local police.

Some netizens have speculated that the accident might be connected to a failure of Tesla's brakes as the car was reportedly seen running at a high speed before colliding with other vehicles. 

In response, Tesla told Hongxing News that the company is "deeply saddened" by the accident and will fully cooperate with the investigation.

The news continued to ferment on the Chinese internet during the weekend. On Saturday, during a livestream sales event of Tesla's Fujian Experience Center, many netizens were asking questions about Tesla's braking system, indicating worries over the car's safety issues, according to a report from Shangyou News. 

According to the Shangyou report, Tesla's two experience centers in Zhejiang's Wenzhou claimed that the incident had "affected sales to some extent," with some consumers taking a "wait-and-see" attitude despite a price reduction. 

Regarding the question of how much the news of the accident on Friday will affect Tesla's sales, the employee at one Tesla Experience Center said: "Our sales did not count this data. Whether there is a problem with Tesla or not, we will wait for the results of the police investigation," the Shangyou News reported.

On January 6, Tesla announced a price reduction across its entire product line in China. On February 8, China Passenger Car Association data showed that Tesla's sales in January reached 66,051 vehicles, an 18 percent increase from the previous month. 

In November 2022, a Tesla Model Y in Chaozhou, South China's Guangdong Province was suspected to have lost control while driving at a high speed, causing two deaths and three injuries. The investigation results have not been released yet.

According to Tesla's financial results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2022. Tesla hit a new high for car deliveries, exceeding 405,300 vehicles, and its Shanghai plant remains its top export hub.

Its fourth-quarter revenue and net profit both hit record highs.