We all have read about the recent protests that took place in China regarding the quality of Tesla’s vehicles. In particular, these issues have surrounded the apparent issue with the brakes in Tesla’s China-made vehicles. The matter got so bad, that a certain protestor got on top of a Tesla Model 3 at the Shanghai Auto Show. Tesla also released the data logs from the accident. These logs showed that the brakes were working as intended.
Despite all this, the company’s image has taken quite a hit in China. The Chinese media, in particular, has been harsh on how the company handled the matter. Tesla even ended up apologizing for the entire incident. However, Tesla owners continue to face problems because of this issue.
Tesla is the synonym of brake failure in China. A parking lot guard doesn't allow any Tesla car to get in because he needs to protect all other cars in the lot. "If I let your Tesla in and your car loses control to damage other cars, I need to be responsible! " #tslaq #Tesla pic.twitter.com/68UNh24OJG
— TechWave (@smallmiddlebig) April 25, 2021
You can see in the above video that a parking lot guard was preventing Tesla owners from entering the parking lot. His understanding is that by letting them in, he is putting the other cars at risk. If even one of the Tesla vehicles has faulty brakes, it may crash into other parked vehicles, and he’ll have to take responsibility for it.
A Ray of Hope
Recent viral videos in China showed multi-car collisions. These videos also consisted of Tesla vehicles in these collisions. As fate would have it, the electric vehicles from the Californian automaker managed to survive the collisions. And ironically enough, a lot of the credit for this goes to its stellar brakes.
In this viral video from China showing multiple-car crash, MIC Model Y is the only vehicle that came to complete stop while every other car experienced “brake failure”. @elonmusk pic.twitter.com/jrgbkCrU0g
— Ray4Tesla⚡️?☀️? (@ray4tesla) May 1, 2021
Interestingly enough, all other cars experienced brake failure, while the Tesla vehicle didn’t. Other videos show that a made-in-China Model Y was the only one that came to a complete stop. The vehicle managed to stop well in front of the vehicle in front, even though multiple cars were hitting it from behind. This may also have something to do with the weight of Model Y, but there is a lot of evidence pointing in favour of Tesla here.
So it turns out Tesla is the only one that can actually BRAKE ?
Chinese media are going to be so disappointed. pic.twitter.com/oLiqmawn3w
— ⚡️特拉风?T☰SLA mania⚡️ (@Tesla__Mania) May 1, 2021
All this tells us one thing. Tesla’s China-made vehicles do not seem to have an issue with its brakes. Yes, there may have been some odd incidents here and there. But there is a clear indication of what these protests were about. They all were simply rumours. Let’s just hope Tesla owners in China do not keep facing injustice because of this.
Why This is a Critical Issue for Tesla
China is a huge market for electric vehicles, and subsequently, Tesla. The company has managed record-breaking sales numbers in Q1 2021. A major chunk of that came from Model 3 and Model Y sales, which are incredibly popular in China. Gigafactory Shanghai is also one of the most critical parts of Tesla’s manufacturing plan. China is a country with aggressive plans towards adopting sustainable mobility. It is critical that Tesla doesn’t lose face in the country.
With Tesla only just getting started with expanding its base in China, the company can’t have any such controversy. Incidents like with the parking lot and security guard can make some people think twice about buying a Tesla. And China is overflowing with startups and new companies manufacturing electric vehicles. So, it may not be very hard for some people to find alternatives.
It was important for Tesla to get this issue buried as soon as possible. They have a really good name in the Chinese industry currently. Granted, they haven’t been very good from a quality perspective. And because of that, there are rumors like this that are spreading like wildfire. It is good that these videos went viral. The matter will probably get sorted on its own now. Still, it is a good reminder for Tesla to work on its quality issues.