On February 17, Tesla Model 3 was spotted speeding through the Chinese city of Ruian in Zhejiang province. After a wild drive on city streets, the car almost jumped over the bridge, changed lines, crashed into a bus, and Audi parked on the side of the door.
According to local media, the passenger died, and the driver was taken to the hospital after being rescued by nearby walkers. Later report claimed that no person died, and both driver and passenger were taken to the hospital. As of the publication of this article, neither Tesla nor Traffic police didn’t issue a response. We will keep monitoring the situation.
CCTV video shows Model 3 driving at high speed through urban roads, and while passing through the bridge, the car jumped, resulting in the front of the car almost touching the ground, and nearly crashing. Later the car fiercely changed lanes, barely avoiding scooters and cyclists driving in the opposite direction, finally stopping by a rear crash into a bus, throwing the Model 3 into the side where it crashed parked Audi and finished its dramatic ride.
The reports say several people on the site were injured when the ambulance arrived.
In November, Tesla Model Y experienced a similarly wild ride in the city of Taizhou, resulting in a fatal crash, leaving three injured people, including the driver, and two deaths. The car was driving over 100km/h for 2.6 km. The results of the investigation were not yet disclosed.
Previously, there have been accusations of malfunctioning brake pedals in Tesla cars. A Chinese customer even staged a protest at the Shanghai Auto Show, claiming that her accident was caused by brake failure. However, Tesla responded to these complaints by stating that their vehicles do not have any unintended acceleration.
These complaints are not restricted to China, with many customers in the US also expressing concerns. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigated these complaints. It determined that the incidents of sudden unintended acceleration in Tesla cars were not caused by any design flaw but rather by driver error. The NHTSA emphasizes the need for drivers to be cautious and aware of a pedal error, which is responsible for around 16,000 crashes annually in the US.
However, this didn’t prevent many local media from referring to the accidents as ‘brake failure’ or ‘pedal acceleration’ accidents and Weibo users accusing Tesla of selling dangerous cars. Tesla previously took legal action against some social media users claiming brake failure. This resulted in one case when the driver admitted he staged the video and apologized to the US automaker.
What is essential is that the November 2022 accident, despite going viral, didn’t have such wide negative coverage in Chinese media as the ‘brake failures’ in 2021. Very few articles, which CarNewsChina analyzed, accused Tesla directly. The reports were much more unbiased, discussing waiting for investigation results and highlighting Tesla’s cooperation with authorities. That was different from 2021 and hinted that Tesla is again enjoying high-level support in China. We will closely watch the media’s reaction to this incident as it will indicate how much in favor Tesla is in China in 2023.