Tesla said Sunday, November 13 that it would help Chinese police investigate an accident involving one of its Tesla Model Y cars, after local media reports emerged that two people were killed and three others injured when the driver lost control of the vehicle.
Local media Jimu News reported on an incident on November 5 in China’s southern province of Guangdong, which killed a motorcyclist and a high school girl. They posted a video of a car traveling at high speed crashing into another vehicle and a cyclist.
“Police are currently seeking a third-party surveillance agency to identify the truth behind this accident and we will actively provide assistance as needed,” Tesla told Reuters in a message on Sunday, November 13 warning against believing “rumors”.
China is Tesla’s second largest market, and the crash became one of the top trending topics on social media platform Weibo that Sunday.
Jimu News quoted the traffic police as saying the cause of the incident in Chaozhou city had not been identified and an unnamed family member of the driver said the 55-year-old man had a problem with the brake pedal while trying to pull over in front of his family’s shop.
Tesla says the video shows that the car’s brake lights don’t come on when the car is speeding and its data shows problems such as not applying the brakes throughout the vehicle’s journey. Tesla has previously faced brake failure claims in China.
In a statement to Reuters, Tesla said a car owner in China had been ordered by a court to publicly apologize and compensate the company after ruling that comments he made to the media about his brake problems did not match the facts and had harmed Tesla’s reputation.
Reuters itself could not immediately verify Tesla’s statement.
Last year, an unhappy customer caused a social media uproar by climbing on top of a Tesla at the Shanghai auto show to protest the company’s handling of its complaint about malfunctioning brakes involved in a car crash.
In that case, Tesla said the breach occurred due to the speeding driver behind the crash but promised to improve the way it handles customer complaints.