Woman Who Protested on Top of a Tesla at Auto Shanghai 2021 Loses Another Lawsuit

Woman who protested on top of a Tesla at Auto Shanghai 2021 loses another lawsuit 7 photos
Photo: @globaltimesnews via Twitter | Edited screenshot
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Tesla has significantly staffed its legal department and is now going after people who tainted the company's image. The most famous worldwide is probably the Chinese woman who protested at Auto Shanghai 2021 on top of a Tesla Model 3 after alleged brake problems. Nevertheless, Tesla announced that it won the second lawsuit against the protester.
Besides being the first car startup to succeed in the complicated automotive industry, Tesla is also the first company to be allowed to operate in China without setting up a joint venture with a Chinese company. Tesla's special status in China is still unprecedented and mostly related to Elon Musk's good relations with the Chinese leaders. Still, it wasn't always smooth sailing for Tesla, and in the last couple of years, the company saw its image tarnished.

News of alleged brake problems with Tesla cars caused mass hysteria in China, with hundreds of people claiming their EVs accelerated uncontrollably and the brakes failed to stop or even slow down the cars. The situation got so intense that some people even tried to take advantage of the situation and shared fabricated videos on Chinese social networks. The most famous was TikTok influencer Boss Kai, who spread false rumors through a video posted on his Douyin (Chinese name for TikTok) channel in 2021. In the video, Cai claimed that Tesla's quality inspectors were doing a sub-par job and used their position to gain personal favors.

The same year, an unusual protest took place at the Tesla booth during the Auto Shanghai 2021 motor show. Zhang Yazhou jumped on top of a Tesla Model 3 to protest against her vehicle's defective brakes. The news became a worldwide sensation and fueled a backlash against Tesla. Nevertheless, it became clear to Tesla that it needed to do something to stop the negative stream of false claims about the malfunctioning brakes.

Since then, Tesla has fought every claim made against the company in China and won many of them. In March, Boss Cai was forced to apologize to Tesla and pay a 100,000 yuan (about $14,400) fine for a fabricated video. Zhang Yazhou's situation was more complicated because she filed several lawsuits against Tesla while the EV maker countersued. Still, Yazhou lost a lawsuit she filed over an unlawful invasion of individual privacy after Tesla revealed a one-minute data log from the accident involving her Model 3.

Tesla China revealed on its official Weibo account that Yazhou has also lost a second lawsuit against the company. According to a Chinese court, Tesla is not responsible for any reputational damages she may have suffered. There's a high probability that Tesla will also win the countersuit, which involves 5 million yuan (over $700,000) in damages.

Yazhou has been filing lawsuits against Tesla since her accident, even though police reports showed that her father, who was driving at the time, was responsible for the crash. He was speeding at 118.5 km/h (73 mph) in urban areas and failed to keep a safe distance from the vehicles in front, which caused the accident.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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