- A Chinese ride-hailing firm is demanding refunds from Tesla, saying 20% of the cars it purchased from the electric-car maker experienced mechanical problems.
- Shenma Zhuanche said it took inspiration from the movie “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” and got three Times Square billboards to get Tesla’s attention.
- A Tesla representative declined to comment to Business Insider.
The Chinese ride-hailing company Shenma Zhuanche said it took inspiration from the Oscar-winning film “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” to air its grievances against Tesla.
The company said it took out three advertisements outside Reuters’ Times Square headquarters to demand Tesla provide compensation and better customer service after more than 20% of the 278 cars it purchased experienced “electro-mechanical failures.”
Global Times, the Chinese government-aligned newspaper, first reported on the scuffle.
“Shenma special vehicle and Tesla have made repeated negotiations but Tesla’s internal efficiency is low, resulting in unsatisfactory after-sales service, long processing time for complaints, and delays in solving vehicle problems,” Shenma said on its official Weibo account, adding that wait time for service had averaged 45 days, costing the company 6.5 million yuan, or about $965,000.
A Tesla representative declined to comment.
Shenma also took its complaints to a Tesla retail store in Chengdu, where it made a statement and held signs with similar messaging as its Times Square campaign.
Last week, a video of a Tesla Model S appearing to catch fire without cause in a Shanghai parking garage made waves on social media in the country. A Tesla representative said it was investigating the fire alongside local authorities.
According to Reuters, there have been at least 14 instances of Tesla vehicles igniting in the past six years, most of which occurred after a crash.
In its latest quarterly earnings report, filed Monday, Tesla said it had secured a loan of 3.5 billion yuan ($521 million) for the construction of a second Gigafactory in Shanghai. The company has said construction of the factory will total about $2 billion.
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