Tesla’s public criticism comes at a time when the company is already in the spotlight in China. During the important Shanghai auto show on Monday, a woman climbed onto the roof of a Tesla in protest. The woman has been campaigning against the company for some time because she and her family had almost died due to faltering brakes.
Tesla was also in the news in the United States, because a car crashed in Texas, killing two people. The victims were in the passenger seat and in the backseat, making it look like no one was behind the wheel. Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced on Twitter that Autopilot, the name of Tesla’s semi-autonomous driving program, was not on, according to the company’s data.
It is not the first time that Tesla has faced headwinds due to safety in China. Supervisors have already called the company to the mat because of battery burns and abnormal acceleration of the vehicles. Tesla also had to apologize to the operator of the Chinese electricity network. In a video, Tesla employees appeared to point to a sudden power difference on the network as the cause of damage to a car.
Despite this, Tesla is still very popular in China, where the company has its own factory. In March, Tesla delivered almost 35,000 cars.