Tesla isn’t planning on launching any new models at the motor show but that didn’t stop a few disgruntled customers to voice out their displeasure at Elon Musk’s
golden goose EV start-up over some of its model’s brake failure.
Just a few days before Auto Shanghai was due to open, Chinese media reported a brake failure incident involving a Tesla at a Shanghai parking lot.
On 11-April 2021, public information revealed that the owner of the affected Tesla could not stop the car when the brakes were applied. The car only managed to ground to a halt after hitting the wall of the parking lot.
Tesla’s response to the incident was due to the car’s ABS which failed due to low ground friction and the accident is still reportedly under further investigation. In other words, Tesla blamed it on the road's slippery condition. It's a similar excuse given to an incident that happened in March in Hainan.
Reports of Teslas experiencing brake failure were not uncommon in China. Some were reportedly more severe including an accident involving a Tesla Model X in June 2020 in Jiangxi and another involving an unknown Tesla model in Shenzhen in December 2020.
In both incidents, the owners claimed their Tesla suddenly accelerated to high speeds and couldn’t be stopped when the brakes were applied. In the Jiangxi incident, the Model X involved burst into flames upon impact.
Seeing these incidents probably triggered this small group of protesters to protest against Tesla’s ineptitude to their models' brake failure. At the Tesla booth, one of the protestors even stepped on the roof of a Tesla Model 3 wearing a T-shirt with the words “brake failure” in Chinese emblazoned across.
It caused quite a commotion at the stand and she was forcibly removed from the scene by security. It is unknown whether she has received any charges for the incident which might be the most public protest against Tesla in the People's Republic.