Tesla has promised to assist in an investigation into a traffic accident involving one of their Model Y cars in the city of Chaozhou, Guangdong province.
On Saturday, November 5, a car crashed into a motorcyclist and a car while traveling at high speeds through the city, killing a schoolgirl and a motorcyclist. Two other people were injured.
The driver of the car, known only as Mr. Zhan, released the following statement to local media:
“My car is a Tesla Model Y. I normally go to my store every day shortly after 6am, roughly 1 kilometer away from home. That morning when driving to work the car felt totally normal. But, when I went to pull over [into the store], the brakes didn’t react. I was pressing the brakes really hard but the car wouldn’t stop. I put the car in ‘park’ but it still wouldn’t stop and just kept getting faster and faster; it was accelerating by itself. I was slamming down on the break for my life but in a matter of seconds, the car had accelerated to over 100 kilometers per hour.”
A video of the incident shows the car attempting to pull over in front of the driver’s family store before accelerating off.
The Tesla vehicle then continues down the two-lane road at high speeds, swerving to avoid traffic and pedestrians.
CCTV cameras recorded the vehicle at around 7am smashing into the back of an unsuspecting motorcyclist before scraping a cyclist while driving on the wrong side of the road.
The car eventually came to a stop when it smashed into an oncoming three-wheeled pick-up, narrowly avoiding a cyclist and another truck before careening into a row of buildings, sending debris flying onto the road.
Mr. Zhan said he was constantly looking for a place without people or traffic where he could safely bring the car to stop, during this time he says his foot never left the brake pedal.
Tesla released an official statement saying that the video shows the car’s brake lights were not on, which they believe could signal that there was no action from the 55-year-old driver to stop the vehicle.
Tesla is China’s second-largest market and the incident was one of the top trending topics on Weibo the day after the incident.
[Cover image via Tencent Videos]