Tesla owners in China are going to great lengths to prove their innocence during accidents. The rising number of accidents involving Tesla cars and their aftermath has prompted the owners to take matters into their own hands. This is being done to ensure that the owners aren’t blamed for the accidents. While this is quite surprising, it is a logical way to ensure that they are not held accountable for the accidents. This is especially necessary for a country like China. Although the Chinese Government has previously pressured Tesla to improve quality control, there has not been a lot of improvement. This has led owners to take action. Hence, they are installing cameras to prove their innocence.
Tesla Owners from China are installing cameras to prove that they are not at fault in accidents
Incidents that have led to this
Despite the warnings from the Government, Tesla cars in China have suffered from quality control issues. These are normal for Tesla but have irked the Chinese Government. To make matters worse, the blame for the accidents the persistent accidents keeps shifting around. Tesla rarely accepts blame for the accidents involving their cars. This leads to problems for the owners, particularly for insurance claims. This leads to big headaches for owners and Tesla alike. To mitigate this, owners have started to set up small cameras angled towards their brakes. This allows them to prove their case if necessary. These are especially important if there has been a technical glitch with the car which leads to the accident. These cases rarely end in favor of the owners, so this will help them to prove that they were not at fault for the accident.
We started the investigation. The gov depts are on it too. Based on Tesla design principles, the possibility of brakes failing & car accelerating is very small, Tesla on Model 3 crash & fire incident in Jiangxi.
We should wait for gov findings after it sees car data, Tesla added. pic.twitter.com/rSXN5vXfZ1
— Moneyball (@DKurac) June 18, 2020
In cases like the tweet above, the camera may not immediately help in determining whose fault it was, but it can nudge the investigators in the right direction. It might not necessarily the ideal solution to these issues. But it can help achieve some clarity in technical problems.
The Zhang Yazhou incident
At Auto Shanghai 2021, Zhang Yazhou, a Chinese Tesla owner, climbed on top of a Tesla Model 3 and protested against Tesla. This led to many legal repercussions for both sides. Yazhou claimed that the car’s brakes failed when her father was driving the car. However, Tesla’s report suggested that the driver did not apply the brakes sufficiently.
Both being rather contradictory views means that it is hard for neutral people to make any assumptions on the basis of the information that is available. This incident could have been resolved a bit more quickly if there were some evidence regarding the amount of force with which the brakes were applied. The problem has escalated and has almost become a social issue in China. This is exactly the type of problem that Tesla needs to resolve quickly. It is the kind of problem that does not bring any good to either party involved. Yazhou has since demanded her money back. Tesla has declined to pay her back for the car.
The lack of good quality control has become a major problem for Tesla’s China plans. A mall in China has banned Teslas from its parking lot. A video on Twitter shows the security guard telling the driver to fix the brakes on the car before entering the parking lot of the mall.
This mall has banned Teslas from parking in its lots. Security guard says, “Go and fix your brakes first, then come back.” Tesla China PR needs to address this better. pic.twitter.com/0Gauca8aL0
— Taylor Ogan (@TaylorOgan) April 26, 2021
This can be considered as another example of the negative feelings that are developing against Tesla in one of the most major EV markets in the world. The Chinese market with its immense size and unlimited potential can make or break a company. Tesla has so far been successful in China. However, if the Californian carmaker fails to meet the Chinese public’s expectations, it could face some serious problems with its position in the market.
This is a rather tricky subject to comment on. Tesla has struggled with meeting expectations with respect to quality control for a long time now. However, these problems get somewhat masked due to the superior technology and range that their cars offer. But in a market like China, the other things are equally important. Add to this the fact that companies that outdo Tesla in other key aspects are becoming better at developing the range and technology in their cars, the pressure on Tesla increases even more.
In such a situation, Tesla can only respond in actions. They need to step up their game if they want to keep ruling the roost.