Tesla's dispute with a female owner in China continues, and the latter has sued the company, as well as an executive, and is seeking damages.
On May 6, the female owner who previously entered the spotlight at the Shanghai auto show for complaining about Tesla's brake failure on the roof of a car released a statement saying she has sued Tesla Beijing, Tesla Shanghai, and Grace Tao, the company's vice president of external affairs.
The owner, surnamed Zhang, claims that without any evidence, the false statements posted by Tesla as well as Tao have had a serious impact on her personal and her family's work and life.
"In order to safeguard my legal rights, I have submitted a civil indictment to the People's Court of Beiguan District in Anyang City today, demanding that the relevant party be held legally responsible," the statement said.
The indictment shows that on April 19, 2021, Tao said in a media interview that "the recent negativity was all contributed by her," that she was "only willing to accept high compensation," that she "insists on high of compensation" and "I think she is very professional and there should be someone behind it."
Zhang alleges that the defendants, including Tao, made public statements contrary to the facts and seriously misled public opinion, which not only seriously lowered the social evaluation of the plaintiffs but also caused serious disturbance to their lives.
Zhang demanded that Tesla and Tao stop the infringement and publish an apology letter in national media. In addition, she asked the defendants to pay RMB 50,000 ($7,720) as moral damages.
On May 7, Sina Tech cited Tesla's response, saying the company would respond to the lawsuit. Tesla will also continue to push forward with the vehicle inspection and give an answer to all the public who are concerned about the incident.
Tesla said that it continues to push for vehicle testing matters, in an effort to help Ms. Zhang return to her normal life as soon as possible. However, up to now, Ms. Zhang has not agreed to have her vehicle tested by a qualified third-party organization under the designation or supervision of the relevant authorities.
Tesla claims that it has always actively communicated with Ms. Zhang, sincerely hoping to help her solve the problem, and the relevant government departments have also conducted several mediation sessions. However, despite the best efforts of many parties, Ms. Zhang still has not agreed to analyze the EDR data on the vehicle to find out the truth, the company said.
On April 19, at the Tesla booth at the Shanghai auto show, the owner stood on top of a red Model 3 wearing a T-shirt with the words translated as "Brake Failure" in protest, causing widespread concern. She was then forcibly carried out by staff and detained for five days for disturbing public order.