Runaway Tesla Causes Chaos in China


Tesla said yesterday that it will work with Chinese law enforcement to investigate why a Model Y went out of control in that country earlier this month, killing two people and injuring three more.

A high-school-aged girl and a motorcyclist were killed on November 5 in Guangdong province. Yours truly saw videos of the incident floating around Twitter this weekend. The videos were taken by surveillance cameras and they were hard to watch.

In the videos, which can be seen here, you can see the Model Y pull over to the side of the road and almost come to a stop before it takes off and accelerates to a high speed. It doesn’t appear that the brake lights come on as the car slows to a stop at the start of the incident. Reports say the car traveled at high speed for more than two kilometers and local police ruled out that the driver was intoxicated.

According to Reuters, the driver, a 55-year-old man, claimed he had “issues” with the brake pedal. Tesla claims that its data shows that the driver didn’t attempt to use the brakes during the incident.

“Police are currently seeking a third party appraisal agency to identify the truth behind this accident and we will actively provide any necessary assistance,” Tesla told Reuters.

We don’t know at this point what caused the incident, or if any autonomous-driving systems had anything to do with it. Nor do we know if there was any other kind of failure, such as brake failure, or if the driver panicked and pressed the wrong pedal.

[Image: Tesla]

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