A Tesla owner in China that has become famous for her claims that the brakes on her Model 3 failed is now suing the automaker for defamation.
Zhang Yazhou filed the lawsuit on Thursday in the Beiguan District People’s Court in Anyang, Henan Province according to a report by The Beijing News. Yazhou is seeking an apology and ¥50,000 ($9,400 CAD) in compensation from Tesla.
In the lawsuit, Yazhou claims Tesla China’s vice president Tao Lin accused her in media interviews of staging the accident with the help of professionals. This statement, along with other allegedly false statements by Tesla form the basis of her claims.
Yazhou says the statements were made in an effort to create a negative image of her in the eyes of the public. She claims they were successful and resulted in a large amount of abuse and mental stress for herself and her family.
Tesla has not yet officially responded to the lawsuit.
Yazhou first made international headlines after jumping on the roof of a Model 3 at the Shanghai Auto Show last month. Wearing a shirt that said “Tesla Brake Failure”, she repeatedly shouted “Tesla brakes failed me” in relation to an accident in February when her father was behind the wheel.
That protest resulted in her being detained by local police and was sentenced to five days of administrative detention.
Tesla has offered to pay for an independent third party analysis of the car, which she has so far refused. Tesla has also released data logs showing nothing was wrong with the car.
Braking: protestor jumps on top of a Tesla during the SH Auto Show. A Model 3 owner, she claims to have nearly lost four of her family members in an accident after the brakes of her electric vehicle failed. pic.twitter.com/9S8F68qEh9
— jdiddymac.eth (@jdiddymac) April 19, 2021