On Tuesday, Chinese Twitter-like social media platform Weibo published its “Trending Topic Report” for the first half of this year. Regarding the trending topics that appeared over 100 times, #TeslaBrakes ranked fifth among all social events in the first half of 2021, trending 130 separate times during the period.
Other trending topics included the COVID-19 pandemic, gaokao (college entrance examination), Two Sessions (the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference), centenary of the founding of the Communist Party and others. Tesla is the only business enterprise in the list of social events.
In April, Tesla’s braking failure became a heated issue when a car owner climbed on a car roof in an attempt to safeguard consumer rights during the 19th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition. The owner wore a T-shirt with the words “brake failure” and climbed on the Tesla car as a way to protest the handling of the issue by the firm.
Reports say the dispute between car owners and Tesla over rights protection hasn’t been settled yet, and the two sides have not reached an agreement on the third-party appraisal. The owners say they could not accept Tesla’s “only designated” third-party appraisal agency for testing.
After this incident, and despite customer complaints and government scrutiny, Tesla’s deliveries in China unexpectedly increased by 88% in May from April. Tesla’s financial report for the second quarter of 2021 released in July shows that its overall market share in China has surpassed that of Europe.
Although Tesla is trying to restore its image among Chinese consumers, the news of brake failure has appeared again. Earlier in August, a Chongqing Tesla owner posted on a network platform that his Tesla Model 3 experienced sudden acceleration and brake failure, which caused injuries to the passengers. However, Tesla refused his request to offer driving data.