Tesla’s legal war against a Model 3 owner in China has proved victorious, as the owner has now been ordered to provide 50,000 yuan ($7,752) in compensation and publicly apologize to the EV maker.
The accident occurred in August last year, when the owner in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, was driving a Model 3 at an ultra-high speed and crashed into more than a dozen cars before coming to a stop and injuring himself. The owner then posted several short videos on his social media platforms claiming that the vehicle’s sudden acceleration and failure of the brakes caused the accident.
Subsequently, the local traffic department commissioned the Wenzhou Automotive Engineering Society to conduct an inspection of the vehicle. In October 2020, the results showed that the car’s brake pedal had not been pressed for five seconds before the collision occurred. On October 16, 2020, the owner of the car did not object to the results when making a statement at the traffic police department and admitted that the brakes were indeed not pressed at that time, but that the accelerator pedal was pressed by mistake. On October 27, 2020, the traffic police determined that the car owner should bear full responsibility for the accident.
In July this year, the owner posted on domestic microblogging platform Weibo that Tesla had sued him for infringement of reputation rights.
According to the judgment, Tesla demanded that the defendant immediately stop the infringement and apologize through video on the Douyin platform, which would last no less than 90 days. In addition, the defendant needed to pay compensation of 500,000 yuan to Tesla.
According to the latest news from a blogger nicknamed “Uncle Xiaote,” the judgment result has been released recently. The Wenzhou car owner was sentenced to apologize to Tesla on his Douyin account within 10 days from the effective date of the judgment, and couldn’t delete the video within 90 days. In addition to apologizing, the vehicle owner would need to pay Tesla 50,000 yuan in compensation within 10 days from the effective date of the judgment.
In addition to that case, Tesla’s dispute with two other owners in China is more widely known. On September 16, Tesla owner Han Chao stated on Weibo that a Beijing court ruled that Tesla had committed sales fraud and ordered the company to pay him 1.51 million yuan in damages because Tesla sold him a vehicle that had previously been in a traffic accident. However, on September 26, Han said that Tesla accused him of making repeated defamatory remarks about Tesla and demanded a public apology and compensation for damages of 5.05 million yuan.
On September 27, the female car owner who previously protested at Tesla’s booth during the Shanghai Auto Show said on Weibo that she was also ordered to pay 5 million yuan by Tesla for a dispute over reputation infringement.