Tesla issued an apology to Chinese customers on Tuesday following a protest over the automaker at the Shanghai Auto Show, and after the Chinese Communist Party issued stern words over the popular brand. After a protestor made a scene at the show earlier this week, Chinese fans and customers banded together on local social media channels, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, before the Community Party weighed in.
According to the report, the government's Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission criticized Tesla for arrogant behavior and accused the company of selling defective cars. The protestor that sparked the backlash said faulty brakes on a Tesla Model 3 caused a crash and left her parents with injuries that required hospitalization. Tesla reportedly countered a month ago when the incident occurred, saying the driver was speeding at the time of the crash, citing a police report. Tesla does not operate a public relations department to field requests for comment.
The Communist Party said on China's WeChat platform that Tesla "has to face up to the torment of its Chinese customers." Tesla posted on the Weibo social media site saying, "We apologize for failing to resolve the problem of the car owner in time," and added it will create a new department focused on customer satisfaction. While it didn't touch on the protestor's specific issue, the automaker said it cooperates with all local investigations and follows all decisions by the government.
Tesla has come under fire in China recently for separate privacy concerns in the country after the state government banned Tesla EVs from various military sites and government buildings. The country remains concerned that the cars' cameras and sensors can track an individual's location to spy on the driver and record where the vehicle goes. CEO Elon Musk assured customers that the cars absolutely do not spy on owners, and the cameras in question are not turned on in China.