Briefing: Netizens question Tesla for Shanghai vehicle fire report
Jul 1, 2019
What happened: Tesla on Friday released its investigation results for a car fire in Shanghai, saying the incident involving one of its cars catching fire in Shanghai was caused by failure of a single battery module in the front of the vehicle. The US EV giant said its investigation team found no defects in the car’s systems after analyzing the battery, software, manufacturing data, and vehicle history. The company issued a software update to protect the battery and improve its longevity in Model S and Model X vehicles. An update to Model 3 vehicles was not provided.
Why it’s important: Tesla said on Weibo that passengers will “have enough time to get out of the car” if its vehicles ignite, and restated that its vehicles catch fire far less frequently than gasoline-powered cars. The statement was poorly received by Chinese netizens. “What is the statement talking about? Teslas safely ignite and should be rewarded?” (our translation) read one comment on the company’s Weibo announcement which received more than 550 likes. Tesla’s statement was released immediately after Chinese EV maker Nio began recalling nearly 5,000 of its flagship ES8 SUVs and apologized, following three incidents of its cars catching fire in two months.