TESLA CRASH: Driver blames ‘loss of control’ for China deaths
The driver involved in the horrific Tesla crash in China that claimed multiple lives says he ‘suddenly lost control’ of the vehicle, according to Chinese media.
Confronting video circulating online shows the Model Y attempting to park, before taking off at high speed and hitting motorcycles, bikes and cars.
Two people were killed and three were injured.
According to Chinese state media, the driver (surnamed Jing) claims he was stepping on the brake pedal, but the car didn’t stop.
One report states the speed of the vehicle was getting “faster and faster”, with the speedometer at one stage clocking 150 kilometres an hour.
“The owner of the car involved is 55 years old this year, has more than 20 years truck driving experience and is in good health,” the report said.
Family of Tesla crash driver demands answers
A family member of the driver has been quoted as saying he awoke from a coma after the crash and immediately asked how many people he had hit.
“After learning the result of 2 deaths and 3 injuries, he has been very guilty and uncomfortable,” the relative said.
“We think the accident was caused by the failure of the vehicle brakes, I hope that the relevant departments will give an explanation as soon as possible.”
The local traffic police have reportedly said the accident is still under investigation, but that both drunk driving and drug driving have been ruled out.
The driver of the car is still receiving treatment in hospital, with several broken ribs and a concussion.
His condition is not considered life threatening.
Tesla China responds
Tesla China is urging local media outlets to ignore rumours and avoid spreading unconfirmed information.
The company has reportedly told one reporter that its data indicates the brakes weren’t used at any stage during the entire process.
Meanwhile, Reuters reports the carmaker, which is owned by the world’s richest man Elon Musk, is investigating.
“Police are currently seeking a third party appraisal agency to identify the truth behind this accident and we will actively provide any necessary assistance,” the company said.
Tesla points out that the video shows the car’s brake lights weren’t on when the car was speeding away.
Expert questions driver’s story
Tan Haitaio, a senior Chinese car reviewer, says Tesla has rightly only presented the facts and data they have available to them at this time.
“Tesla’s response did not express any opinions or conclusions,” he said.
Haitao, however, also went on to provide some speculation of his own.
“Maybe the driver has dropped something at his feet and wants to pick it up, but the vehicle doesn’t come to a complete stop and the brake pedal or accelerator pedal is stuck,” he said.
“The driver might have been left in a panic with only the steering wheel controls available to him.
“It is rare in electric vehicles, but there are precedents in fuel vehicles.”