Tesla Wins Court Case Against Chinese Owner Who Falsely Claimed Sudden Vehicle Acceleration

Tesla Wins Court Case Against Chinese Owner Who Falsely Claimed Sudden Vehicle Acceleration

Tesla won a lawsuit against the Chinese owner of a Model 3, who spread false information about an incident for over a year. The owner claimed that he drove into a parking lot at high speed, crashed into many cars and was seriously injured by his car, which suddenly began to accelerate, and the brakes did not respond to pressing. Now, the owner is sentenced to pay CNY 50,000 and ordered to apologize to Tesla.

In August 2020, loud news about Tesla came from China. It was reported that a Model 3 suddenly accelerated and did not slow down when the driver applied the brakes, causing the vehicle to enter a parking lot at high speed, crash into several vehicles, crash into the sidewalk from the other side of the parking lot, crash into lamp posts, and cause serious injury to its owner. Mr. Chen revealed that on August 12 at around 11:00 PM in Wenzhou he was driving along the road from the Shuangle residential area in Lucheng District, where was undergoing some sort of repair. Despite the repair work, he drove at 60 miles per hour. Mr. Chen said on Chinese radio FM93 Traffic Voice:

“I drove five or six kilometers at that speed [60 mph]. When I got to about 100 meters [328 ft] away from the parking lot, the car suddenly accelerated. I stepped on the brake but it was useless. After that, the car got out of control and flew into the parking lot.”

Although already at that time this story caused a number of doubts that the driver's story was true, and some facts pointed to his lies, a number of media outlets around the world took up the story and wrote negative articles about Tesla and the unreliability of its cars. Throughout the time since the accident, Mr. Chen also spread false information about the incident and the danger that Tesla cars pose.

In May 2021, Twitter user @ray4tesla reported that after a thorough investigation of the incident, the Wenzhou Auto Engineering Society concluded that the accelerator pedal remained pressed and the brakes were not applied, based on data from Tesla and from the vehicle’s EDR. Thus, it was proved that the driver is fully responsible for the accident. However, the driver continued to blame the failure on his Tesla, saying it caused the accident, and spreading all kinds of unfounded claims.

This prompted Tesla's legal department in China to file a lawsuit against the owner as a part of their fight against the spread of false information about the company's cars, which seriously harms the brand. Today, @ray4tesla reported that Tesla won this case in court at the end of September. For deliberately distorting the truth about the accident, the owner was fined 50,000 RMB and must apologize to the plaintiff within 10 days, and publish a public apology on social media within 90 days. The court also ordered him to submit an apology statement to the court for review and approval before posting it on Chinese social media.

© 2021, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.


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Article edited by @SmokeyShorts, you can follow him on Twitter

About the Author

Eva Fox

Eva Fox

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.

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