China regulator urges Tesla to ensure product quality

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Man walks by Tesla Model 3 sedans and Tesla Model X sport utility vehicle at a new Tesla showroom in Shanghai

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s market regulator on Wednesday urged U.S. electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc to ensure product quality in the country, following an incident at the Shanghai auto show that drew wide social media attention and a rare Tesla apology.

The official Xinhua news agency, meanwhile, said in a commentary late on Wednesday that Tesla’s apology was “not sincere,” as Tesla remained under pressure in the country.

On Monday, a disgruntled customer clambered on top of a Tesla vehicle in protest over the company’s handling of her complaints about malfunctioning brakes in one of its cars.

Videos that went viral showed the woman 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.

Tesla on Tuesday apologised to Chinese consumers for not addressing the complaint in a timely way, and said it would launch a review of its service operations in the world’s biggest auto market.

However, the Xinhua news agency said Tesla’s apology fell short.

“A big company should have the responsibility of being a big company, no company can do whatever it wants,” it said.

“If a company does not rectify when it has problem, if it does not change a problematic senior executive … it will eventually make mistakes again,” it said, without specifying the executive it was referring to.

On Wednesday, a regulator in the city of Zhengzhou, the protesting customer’s home, demanded that Tesla share data related to the brake incident, which a representative at Tesla’s store there said it would do, local state media reported.

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