Shanghai auto show protester says no complete driving data from Tesla

Asian Tech Press (Mar. 23) -- A Shanghai auto show protester said in a recent interview that she still hasn't gotten complete driving data from Tesla Inc. after a year.

The female Tesla owner, surnamed Zhang, who climbed onto the car and shouted "Tesla brake failed"at the Shanghai Auto Show in April 2021, started a "marathon" to defend her rights since then.

In May last year, the female owner sued Tesla and its global vice president Grace Tao Lin for reputation damage. And in July, she filed a lawsuit with a local people's court over Tesla's driving data.

In December of last year, the defamation lawsuit was heard in public in Anyang, central China's Henan province, and no verdict was handed down in court.

And the lawsuit about driving data was accepted on March 12 this year, and the case was subsequently placed on file for investigation and prosecution, subject to the dispute of personal information protection.

"Please order the defendant Tesla (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. to provide complete and true original driving data to the plaintiff herself," Mrs. Zhang wrote in the civil complaint.

A year has passed since the woman's Tesla Model 3 collided due to a speeding violation, and she has still insisted that the data handed over by Tesla was incomplete after being redacted and concealed.

Mrs. Zhang said in the interview, "After the Shanghai Auto Show, I only got a copy of the driving data from Tesla, and I considered that data incomplete and have not gotten new data since then."

The driving data Mrs. Zhang showed to the media outlet, covering the 30 minutes before the crash, had a total of nine parameters, including vehicle speed, physical movement signal of the brake pedal, pressure in the brake master cylinder, ABS signal, accelerator pedal position, steering wheel angle, etc.

However, the Tesla owner argued that the electric vehicle (EV) maker did not provide brake pedal travel, motor torque and other key data.

Tesla, a leading EV manafacturer worldwide, briefly expressed its apologies when the brake failure was exposed, and then quickly got rid of the public pressure from customer protests, and kept its new car sales in China at a stable level of 10,000 units for several months.

Since the second half of last year, Tesla began to file lawsuits one by one against the relevant parties who kept approaching it to defend their rights.

In addition to Mrs. Zhang, Ms. Li, a Xi'an owner who had defended her rights together in Shanghai in April 2021, was also sued by Tesla for 5 million yuan on the grounds of reputational damage.

Sources said that the case of Tesla v. Ms. Li has already had the result of the first trial, in which Tesla was ruled to be lost, and Tesla has now filed an appeal.

The main claim of the protester surnamed Zhang is now asking Tesla to provide complete driving data, a request that has sparked a controversy over the ownership of driving data and become one of the challenges brought to the industry by the popularity of new energy vehicles.

In April last year, Tesla promised that the company would fully cooperate with the regulatory authorities to carry out an in-depth investigation and would be willing to conduct tests at any qualified and authoritative testing institution nationwide with the consent of the customer, government designation or supervision, and the joint witness of three parties.

Cui Dongshu, secretary-general of the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), said that the institutions on the market basically only test for mature and longer developed technologies.

"Tesla's software and systems are relatively new to some agencies, and it is difficult to detect them, and even if they can, the process is relatively long," stressed Cui.

"The truth is important, but the truth is only one aspect," said Wang Miao, a researcher in numerical simulation at the Institute of Computing Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ICT, CAS), said that issues such as how to improve the corporate regulatory accountability mechanism, how to determine the ownership of data privacy and to protect it, should also be of great concern.

Wang added, "Nowadays, smart cars continue to be popular, driverless technology keeps developing, and related conflicts may become more prominent in the future."

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