A Chinese court has begun initial hearings on Tesla's lawsuit against the woman who protested atop a Tesla car at the 2021 Auto Show. The woman's activities in spreading false information caused huge damage to the company's name.
Tesla's China court hearing officially started on Tuesday, according to a post on WeChat by the Qingpu District Court in Shanghai. The company is suing Zhang Yazhou, best known for climbing onto the roof of a Model 3 during the 2021 Auto Show and yelling that brake failure in her Tesla nearly killed her family. The protest campaign launched by Zhang caused serious damage to the company, causing a wave of criticism in China. Tesla is seeking 5 million yuan (about $700,000) in damages.
Shanghai Securities News reported that Zhang filed a counterclaim, but no details were provided. At this stage of the hearing, there is usually an exchange of evidence and other case materials. This means that more details will be revealed later.
Zhang has been suing Tesla since her car was involved in an accident in 2021. Already in the spring of 2021, police found the driver guilty after the father of the protesting woman crashed into two cars in February and injured two people in a Tesla Model 3. He was driving at 118.5 km/h (73 mph) in local areas, well above the limit. In addition, the driver did not keep a safe distance from other vehicles, which also caused the accident. Nevertheless, despite the police report and information from Tesla, the woman continued to claim that the car had a brake system failure.
Zhang has already lost a related privacy lawsuit against Tesla after the company provided a one-minute data log involving a Chinese media agency prior to an accident with its Model 3 sedan in April 2021. She also lost another lawsuit a few days ago. It reportedly recently received a statement from the Chinese court that Tesla was not liable for any reputational damage it may have suffered.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.