Beijing, April 22 2021: Despite local competition trying to challenge the US based giant’s share in Asia’s largest market, China’s consumers are responsible for buying one fourth of the total output of the world’s largest selling EV brand Tesla but a recent incident in the Shanghai auto-show has resulted in Tesla being in the news for all the wrong reasons.
On Monday, a woman climbed on top of a car at the Shanghai auto show and yelled that she was almost killed when the brakes on her Tesla failed. The company is facing backlash as China’s watchdog and its consumer protection agencies made statements after the incident saying a Tesla owner recently defended her consumer rights at the Shanghai Auto Show. The video shot by onlookers show the woman was wearing a T-shirt with the Tesla logo emblazoned on top along with the words “brake Failure”, she was was later wrestled to the ground by security and jailed for 5 days for “disrupting the peace” but her message has reached across audiences nevertheless.
The consumer protection agency, which was later joined by the China Consumers Association, said the issue was of great concern and the local officials in Tesla were instructed on the protection of the legitimate rights and interests of consumers, emphasizing the need for quality and safety in particular.
According to the China Consumers Association, “In the face of consumer complaints, companies must listen carefully, negotiate sincerely, and give consumers reasonable explanations and effective solutions.”
Meanwhile Tesla made a statement on Chinese Twitter counterpart, Weibo saying they would address any quality problems with their vehicles but would not respond to unreasonable customer demands, a stance which was slammed by the state news agency for lacking sincerity.
Tesla consequently issued a second, more conciliatory statement on the social media platform Weibo.
In 2019 Elon Musk’s Tesla built its third factory for EVs in Shanghai. Consumer complaints against the automobile giant come as local competition such as smart phone makers Huawei and Xiaomi, e-commerce leader Alibaba, and even DJI, the world’s top drone manufacturer, plan to enter the world’s fastest growing EV market with the government estimates expecting such vehicles to comprise 25 percent of car sales by 2025.
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