Woman detained in China after Tesla demonstration

Woman detained in China after Tesla demonstration
A protester in China who claimed Tesla’s Model 3 has “faulty brakes” was detained after a demonstration at the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

April 20 (UPI) -- Chinese authorities said they have detained a woman in connection with a protest at Tesla's booth at an auto show, as the U.S. carmaker faces increasing allegations over safety.

The Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Public Security said Tuesday on its website that authorities have taken into custody a woman with the surname Zhang.


Videos of the woman jumping on top of a Tesla car, while yelling accusations about faulty brakes, have gone viral since the incident Monday.

Chinese public security said the defendant, who caused a commotion at the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition, was given five days of "administrative detention" for disturbing public order.

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Zhang had claimed the carmaker's vehicle nearly killed her entire family after the brakes on her father's Tesla Model 3 did not work properly. The woman also said her father crashed into two cars and hit a guardrail during the accident, according to Chinese news service Caixin.

Tesla has challenged the woman's claims.

The company issued a statement on Chinese social media platform Weibo defending the Model 3. The car crashed because the driver exceeded the speed limit, Tesla said, according to TechCrunch on Tuesday.


Tesla has said the woman has not agreed to an investigation by a neutral third party and that Zhang has been demanding financial compensation, according to reports.

The company also is coming under attack by an online site run by China's Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission.

The site published commentary Tuesday that claimed Zhang was "bitter" and that China's Tesla customers have raised safety concerns with Tesla.

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"We would like to ask where the company's responsibility lies," the statement read.

Tesla is coming under fire in China as the country hosts the Boao Forum in Hainan Province.

At the opening ceremony Tuesday, Chinese leader Xi Jinping said China "will never seek hegemony" and that Beijing would not tolerate "interference in internal affairs."

U.S. analysts have said China has been using trade as a political tool and has limited foreign investors' ability to take capital out of the country.

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