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Tesla Apologizes for Arrogant Customer Service Response to Shanghai Incident

By Laura Stotler April 30, 2021

Tesla has come under fire for a number of issues recently and made a rare apology after criticism for being "arrogant" to its Chinese customers. The automaker issued the statement after Chinese regulators and state media criticized its response to a protester at a Shanghai auto show.

The incident, which was recorded on a video that since went viral, involved a disgruntled woman making a scene at Tesla's booth earlier this week. She alleged the company's brakes don't work and malfunction while standing on a Tesla Model 3 sedan next to he company's booth. The woman was eventually hauled away from the booth by security.

Tesla, which identified the protester as "Ms. Zhang," said her father was in an accident in February while driving a Tesla. Zhang has blamed the automaker's brakes for the crash and has been battling with the company for months.

This week Tesla released driving data recorded 30 minutes prior to the accident that proved Zhang's father's Model 3 was moving at 75 mph before the crash.

"There is no possibility Tesla will compromise," Grace Tao, vice president of Tesla, said after the crash. That statement created a social media backlash labeling the company as arrogant. The company has now apologized for its failure to resolve a customer's complaint in a timely manner. In a statement on Weibo, China's equivalent to Twitter, Tesla promised to respect consumers as well as cooperate with all investigations.

Tesla also came under fire this week for an incident earlier this month in Texas, in which a Tesla Model S smashed into a tree and burst into flames. One occupant was found dead in the passenger seat while the owner, who was also killed, was found in a back seat. Police have said it was clear no one was in the driver's seat at the time of the accident.

This week Tesla refuted police claims and stated that a deformed steering wheel suggested someone was likely in the driver's seat. The NTSB has criticized Tesla's Autopilot feature after investigating a series of fatal crashes involving the vehicles.

But CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the vehicle in Texas was not operating on Autopilot, the company's semi-autonomous driving system, according to data downloaded from the vehicle. Local authorities are working to recover data from an SD card from the car that should provide more information about the accident.




Edited by Luke Bellos
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CustomerZone360 Contributing Editor

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