Tesla China suing influencer for defamation over faked brake malfunction

Tesla China is suing a Chinese car influencer over claims made about brake malfunctions. The company confirmed the suit this week to several media outlets.

Xiaogang Xuezhang has over 14 million followers on Douyin and creates videos about testing and customizing cars.

In April 2021, Xuezhang posted two videos to Douyin comparing the emergency braking systems of the Tesla Model 3 and XPeng P7.

He showed the Model 3’s emergency braking system failing to activate two times. Both times, the vehicle ploughed through a cardboard car and an inflatable mannequin.

The two videos received more than half a million likes. However, the authenticity of the videos came under question by both influencers and Tesla owners.

Some thought he hit the accelerator while testing to obstruct Tesla’s braking system, while others speculated Tesla’s competitors sponsored the videos.

On Thursday, Xuezhang responded to the lawsuit on Douyin. He noted that Tesla released his personal information and paid-for social media campaigns that magnify the lawsuit, reports Protocol.

Tesla China is undoubtedly on the offensive in China. In 2021, Tesla China sued at least two owners who publicly demanded compensation for alleged safety issues.

In addition, in May 2021, Tesla china sent cease-and-desist letters to influencers.

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