SHANGHAI, April 20 (Reuters) - An unhappy customer who
invaded the Tesla booth at the Shanghai auto show by clambering
atop a car in protest, creating a social media stir and
prompting an apology from the company, will be detained for five
days, Shanghai police said on Tuesday.
Police said the woman and a female accomplice - identified
only by their surnames, Zhang and Li - "caused chaos" at the
trade fair on Monday when they arrived at the Tesla display "to
express their dissatisfaction due to a consumer dispute."
Zhang was ordered detained for "disrupting public order,"
while Li received a warning, police said.
Videos that went viral on Monday showed Zhang wearing a
T-shirt emblazoned with the words "The brakes don't work" and
shouting similar accusations while staff and security struggled
to restore calm.
Late on Tuesday, Tesla issued a statement apologising for
not addressing the customer's complaint in a timely manner, and
said it would conduct a self-inspection of its service and
operations in China.
Tesla sells roughly 30% of its cars in China, made at its
Shanghai factory. But it has faced occasional criticism over
issues such as complaints of battery fires.
Monday's incident led state broadcaster CCTV to call for an
investigation of reported brake problems on Tesla cars, while
China's anti-graft watchdog weighed in with a commentary saying
such disputes should be resolved within the rule of law.
"Individuals should not take extreme measures, and
enterprises should not be arrogant and unreasonable," the
Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said late on
Tesla said on Monday that the woman was a vehicle owner who
had been involved in a collision earlier this year. It cited
"speeding violations" for the crash, adding in a social media
statement that it had been negotiating with her about returning
the car, but the talks had stalled over a third-party
Zhang and Li could not be contacted for comment.
The incident continued to attract social media attention on
Tuesday, accounting for two of the top 10 trending topics on the
Twitter-like Weibo platform.
Last month, Tesla came under scrutiny in China when the
military banned its cars from entering its complexes, citing
security concerns over cameras in its vehicles, sources told
That prompted founder Elon Musk to say that if Tesla used
cameras to spy in China or anywhere, it would be shut down.
Earlier this month, Tesla said cameras in its cars are not
activated outside of North America.
(Reporting by Josh Horwitz and Yilei Sun; additional reporting
by the Shanghai newsroom; editing by Jane Wardell, Tony Munroe
and Dan Grebler)