A BYD Dealership Appeals against Judgment on Commercial Defamation Dispute with Tesla

According to the business information query platform Tianyancha, Tesla (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. has been notified of a second-instance court hearing for a commercial defamation dispute. The appellant is Anqing Fengdi New Energy Vehicle Sales and Service Co., Ltd., a BYD dealership, and the hearing is scheduled to take place on April 17.

Tesla (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. previously sued the dealership for sharing a video on a network platform with the caption “Porsche owner come to see BYD vehicles, and BYD is unstoppable like a Tesla without brakes”. The court found that this was misleading information that could harm existing and potential consumers of Tesla cars by suggesting that they have no brakes or brake problems. As a result, the dealership was ordered to publish an apology statement on its short video account within ten days of judgment and keep it there for fifteen days. Additionally, they were required to compensate for economic losses of 50,000 yuan ($7,261).

Previously, the dealership stated that one of its employees had used the company account to publish a video. Upon discovering this, the company promptly deleted the video and the employee subsequently resigned. The case is now being appealed in court and we will have to wait until April 17 for the outcome.

In recent years, Tesla has faced controversy over its braking performance due to several traffic accidents. One such incident occurred in Chaozhou, Guangdong Province at the end of 2022 when a Tesla vehicle failed to park on the roadside and instead continued accelerating for nearly 2.6 kilometers at high speed. Tragically, this resulted in two deaths and three injuries. The driver involved reported that he continuously pressed the brakes after losing control of the vehicle but found it difficult to press down.

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In February of this year, a Tesla Model 3 caused an accident in Dongguan, Guangdong Province. The car collided with an oncoming bus after starting at a crossroads, which resulted in the driver’s injury. Another incident involving a Tesla Model 3 occurred during the same month when it crashed into two cars ahead of it. This collision led to severe damage to all three vehicles and passenger fatalities.

Tesla created a legal department account on Weibo, similar to Twitter, in 2021. Since then, the company has filed lawsuits against several car owners and media outlets due to issues with Tesla’s braking system being the primary reason for these legal actions.