NIO previously denied claims that its technician had private access to the vehicles involved in a fatal accident. Now, remarks from the police give it support.
China Securities Journal on Wednesday quoted a source from the Putian Expressway Traffic Police Detachment in Fujian Province as saying that no one would be allowed to touch the accident vehicle.
"We won't allow anyone to touch (the vehicle). (NIO) can find the car, technically it's not difficult at all. The police were not required to remove all GPS systems after impounding the vehicle," the source said.
The person in charge said that the accident occurred on a plain section of the road, and that place is relatively straight.
In an official statement, local police said they had launched an investigation.
Earlier on Monday, there were media reports that an NIO staff was summoned for having private access to the accident vehicle.
NIO later said that the company did not have any deletion of data, and no employee was summoned by the police.
From the accident until now, NIO has been actively cooperating with the relevant authorities in the accident investigation and submitting the information required for the investigation according to the procedures, NIO said in a statement.
To show respect to the deceased, NIO will not release further information about the accident until the investigation results are finally confirmed, the company said.
Lin Wenqin, the founder of Chinese restaurant brand Meiyihao, was killed in a traffic accident last Thursday while driving an NIO ES8 in Fujian. The ES8 had the autopilot function NOP (Navigation on Pilot) turned on, Meiyihao said in an obituary released on Saturday.
Lin Lihong, a lawyer appointed by Lin's family to represent him in the case, was quoted by Sina Tech earlier Monday as saying that the NIO technician had access to the vehicle in question to operate it without the consent of the traffic police, who had summoned the technician to make a statement.
If the result of the investigation is that the vehicle data was tampered with or destroyed, the technician will be suspected of a criminal offense, and NIO will be held fully responsible for the accident, the lawyer said.