Tesla responds to fatal Model Y crash in China

Credit: Weibo

Tesla China has provided its insights following a fatal Model Y crash in Chaozhou, located in the province of Guangdong in southern China. The Model Y was filmed accelerating out of control for about two kilometers before crashing, killing two and injuring three. 

As could be seen in a video of the accident, the Tesla Model Y’s brake lights seemed to be off during the vehicle’s ill-fated high-speed run. Regardless of this, a family member of the driver has claimed to local Chinese media that the vehicle’s brake pedal was unresponsive. Even when the driver reportedly tried to shift the vehicle to Park, the Model Y still ran at full speed. 

Tesla China, for its part, has denied the driver’s claims that the vehicle’s brakes were unresponsive during the incident. According to the electric vehicle maker, data from the ill-fated Model Y showed that the vehicle’s accelerator pedal was depressed deeply for an extended period of time, even reaching 100% at one point. Tesla China also noted that the driver did not press the brakes during the incident. 

That being said, the electric vehicle maker did note that while the vehicle was in motion, the driver briefly pressed the Park button four times, and the brake lights turned on and off quickly. It should be noted that tests from Tesla owners have shown that pressing the Park button while the vehicle is in motion would stop a Tesla, but the button has to be pressed for an extended period of time. 

Tesla China’s findings have been challenged on social media, as the Model Y’s driver reportedly used to be a truck driver. Local traffic police also reportedly ruled out the idea that the driver of the vehicle was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Police are reportedly seeking a third-party agency to investigate the remains of the Model Y, which should provide pertinent details about the incident. Tesla China will actively provide the necessary assistance for the Model Y’s analysis. 

This is not the first time that Tesla China’s vehicles have been accused of alleged brake failures. Last year, Tesla made international news after a protester at the Shanghai Auto Show climbed atop one of Tesla’s exhibits to claim that the electric vehicle maker’s EVs had “brake failure” issues. A wave of alleged “brake failure” incidents followed and were widely shared online, though after Tesla China’s legal team got involved, media outlets that ran the narrative that the company’s vehicles were unsafe, as well as social media users who spread the rumors about Tesla’s alleged “brake failure” incidents, later issued public apologies.  

A video of the Model Y crash can be viewed below, though viewer discretion is advised.

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Tesla responds to fatal Model Y crash in China
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