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Tesla shares vehicle data with Chinese authorities investigating accident preceding viral protest

Written by Song Jingli Published on     2 mins read

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This is the first time for the company to share its data logs with any external party in China.

Tesla will provide vehicle data related to an accident that occurred in Anyang, Henan Province in February, either to an investigating body or technical supervision agency entrusted by the government, the company said on Wednesday. It will also share the data with the affected car owner, according to a post on its official Weibo account.

The statement comes shortly after the Zhengzhou office of the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) demanded the EV maker release the data unconditionally. The accident involved a woman, surnamed Zhang, who believes the cause was a brake failure, while Tesla initially said it was due to speeding.

“We urge the Zhengzhou branch of SAMR to designate an authoritative and qualified third-party appraisal institution to carry on the investigation and uncover the truth as soon as possible,” said Tesla, which offered to settle the expenses.

This is the first time for the company to share its data logs with any party in China, noted local outlet Economic Observer. Data stored in Tesla’s systems normally include vehicle speed and driver behavior such as acceleration and braking, among other information.

The woman attended the Shanghai Auto Show on Monday, when she climbed on top of a Model 3 on display and yelled to attract attention to her plight. She wore a white t-shirt with the words “brake failure” printed on it. She also lodged a formal complaint with the Zhengzhou authorities.

The local regulator mediated three rounds of negotiations between Zhang and Tesla on March 15, 18, and 24, during which Tesla refused to provide the data to the woman, on concerns that she might use the information to defame the company.

The EV maker is currently also being investigated in the US, where authorities are looking into a fatal car accident. The Texas police department said on Tuesday it would serve Tesla with search warrants to secure data from a vehicle crash near Houston, according to Reuters.

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