A Tesla vehicle in China’s Guangdong Province crashed recently after it suddenly lost control and traveled at a high speed for two kilometers, causing two deaths and three injuries. The question of whether or not the driver pressed the brake pedal has now become a controversial issue. This incident has sounded the alarm for many Tesla car owners, one of whom has installed cameras to monitor its braking system.
The female Tesla owner in Guangdong installed a mini camera at the bottom of her newly bought vehicle, causing netizens to question her modification’s influence on the circuit.
The owner posted a video on November 14, saying that she trusted Tesla, but it seemed that trust was cheap in front of the evidence. She mentioned that there was no need to change the circuit when installing the camera. Tesla’s price reductions, ranging from 18,000 yuan ($2,553) to 37,000 yuan ($5,247) in late October, also triggered her complaints.
Many netizens agreed with the female car owner’s practice. One commented, “The recorder is very useful, otherwise once an accident happens, no one knows who can be blamed,” while another wrote, “The record on the car is unreliable because the record may go wrong, and the driver is unreliable because he may lie. The third-party test is also not able to detect this kind of failure. Install monitoring on all Tesla pedals may be the only solution.”
One netizen compared Tesla with Chinese automaker BYD, writing, “I remember that BYD was the first one to install a camera on the brakes after several electric buses lost control and hit people. After installation, there were no so-called ‘out of control’ reports.”
Although no authoritative confirmation of any cause of the recent crash has been released, speculation has thrived online.
A relative of the driver wrote on Weibo that the driver had been stepping on the brakes, but the vehicle did not slow down. The victim claimed a brake failure caused the accident. However, Tesla responded that it can be seen from the existing accident video that the brake lights did not light up for a long time during the high-speed driving of the vehicle. Background data showed that the owner did not step on the brake pedal all the way.
Ever since June 2020, accidents allegedly caused by braking failures on Teslas have been frequently exposed. The firm’s official investigation on the causes of such accidents mostly blame the owner’s stepping on the wrong brake pedal.
Some netizens called on Tesla to disclose background data and introduce third-party platforms to investigate. Some believe that Tesla’s single pedal mode can easily lead to the driver stepping on the wrong pedal in panic, so consumers should be provided with other choices.
According to Seashell Finance, many organizations indicated that they could find malfunctions in hardware, instead of software or the system. Other institutions said that they had done relevant appraisals for XPeng before with a price tag of 80,000 yuan.
“Tesla sets restrictions on private data, which cannot be read by the outside,” one service staff member said. “It is difficult to detect whether Tesla’s vehicles really have brake failure.” However, some organizations said that if Tesla is willing to provide complete driving data, including on the brake pedal and motor torque, they can find the key reason.