Tesla brake failure protest at Shanghai Auto Show leads to online uproar

A protest against a series of faulty mechanisms in Tesla vehicles has been widely viewed on social media in China.

Tesla protest attracts online attention

At the press day of the Shanghai Auto Show, a Chinese woman wearing a T-shirt with the Chinese characters for “Tesla brake failure” jumped on top of a Model 3 shouting criticisms about the carmaker. The woman who had experienced brake failure in her own Tesla on a motorway was removed from the event by guards, along with another woman making similar comments.

The two women involved apologised to the Shanghai Auto Show for public disorder but not to Tesla itself as they stated that the car brand should claim responsibility for the defect. The hashtag ‘#Tesla booth becomes protest site’ (#特斯拉展台变维权现场#) hit 230 million views on Weibo. Many netizens sympathised with the women, commenting that they supported the Tesla car owners who were seeking to protect their rights and interests. 

Tesla responded to the Shanghai Auto Show protest commenting:

“If it’s Tesla’s problem, we will be responsible for the issue, but we also need to be clear that we won’t  compromise on unreasonable requests.”

Some netizens were satisfied with Tesla’s response, while others thought that China’s third-party authorities should investigate the Tesla brake failure cases as soon as possible. 

Not Tesla’s first brake-related incident in China

This is not the only action against Tesla that has taken place recently. In March, a female Tesla owner from Zhengzhou wrote “Tesla brake failure” on her car and stood in front of one of Tesla’s stores. She claimed that Tesla’s faulty brakes had almost killed her and her family. 

According to online posts, there have been more than ten incidents of brake failure involving Tesla vehicles across China since 2020.  However, Tesla officials have not provided a detailed response to the cause of these accidents.

Huawei debuts at the Auto Show

The 19th Shanghai Auto Show officially launched at Shanghai’s National Exhibition and Convention Center yesterday (April 20). 1,000 companies from all over the world are participating in the event, which will showcase cutting-edge technology in the global automotive industry.

Chinese tech giant Huawei made its automotive debut at the event. The Seres Huawei Smart Selection SF5 which was developed in partnership with Chinese electric vehicle startup Seres is now available on Huawei’s flagship store and at showrooms. The EV will cost between 216,800 RMB and 246,800 RMB ($33,322-$37,933).

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