A Tesla vehicle crashed into a truck on Friday in Shaoguan, South China's Guangdong Province, at a high speed of 158 kilometers per hour, leading to the immediate death of the driver, according to media reports on Sunday, sparking fresh concerns over suspected brake issues in Tesla cars.
An investigation into the cause of the accident was underway, media reports said.
The Tesla vehicle was bought in January this year, and according to calculations, it crashed at an extremely high speed of 158 km/h within the last 0.5 second, compared to the speed limit of 60 km/h. The driver killed was reportedly a local retired policeman at around 60.
The Tesla vehicle was removed from the scene for examination, and is "protected twenty four seven," local police said.
Tesla said on Saturday night that it was cooperating with the police and waiting for the outcome of the investigation.
While the exact cause of the accident remains unclear, it has again triggered fresh waves of concern over whether Tesla vehicles have brake failure risks.
Three weeks ago, a woman surnamed Zhang climbed to a Tesla car at Shanghai Auto Show to protest against the alleged brake malfunction in her Tesla car, causing a public relations crisis for the US firm.
The woman's protest went viral online in China, and last week, Zhang issued a statement saying that she would sue Tao Lin, vice president of Tesla, over the company's handling of the protest.
The accident follows a string of other accidents where Tesla vehicles were suspected of having defective brakes. On April 17, the driver of a Tesla Model 3 in Zengcheng district, Guangzhou, Guangdong was said to have lost control of the vehicle, which then spontaneously ignited, according to media reports.
There have been more than ten accidents involving Tesla electric cars that went "out of control" in China since 2020, according to some account. And China is not the only country to see accidents involving Tesla cars. In April, a Tesla Model S car smashed into a tree in the US state of Texas and burst into flames, killing two occupants, Reuters reported.