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China’s Nio faces criticism after its response to the test car incident killing two people

Chinese EV maker Nio responded to a recent incident that took place because of its test car. The incident was when Nio’s car fell from the third-floor parking lot in Shanghai. Two people were killed in the incidents, among which one was a Nio employee. After the incident, the company gave a public statement that included “not caused by the vehicle itself”. While the company did take various measures to support the families of the people involved. People on China’s social media have been criticizing Nio, saying the company is avoiding responsibility.

China: Two killed as Nio electric car falls out of third floor of office in  Shanghai

Image credits- Free Press Journal

The incident took place at around 5:20 PM on Beijing time on Wednesday. A partner employee and a company staff die in the incident. As the incident took place, Nio initially posted a statement on China’s social media (Twitter-like) Weibo. After the criticism, the company deleted the post and made a new statement, which is similar to the older one. The first post made by the company stated that the accident was not caused by the vehicle. However, people started pointing out that Nio is not ready to take responsibility.

After a few minutes of the post, it was deleted and a new post was seen, stating “not caused by vehicle” in brackets. It was implied that the company didn’t want to emphasize on that, but it appears to already have caught the eye of the public already.

Nio incidents

The company said after an on-site analysis, it can be preliminarily confirmed that the accident has nothing to do with the vehicle itself. In the new Weibo post, the company emphasized that the incident was an “accident” that was not caused by issues with the vehicle.

Nio did not respond to a request for further details about the incident or why the initial tweet was deleted when contacted by CNBC. Videos circulating online show medical workers trying to rescue the two passengers in the car.

Nio said that it has set up a special team to help the families of the deceased deal with the aftermath. Last year, a man died in a Nio ES8 while using the car’s semi-autonomous driving features known as Navigate on Pilot. According to NIO’s description, NOP is called “Navigate on Pilot”, which is “the deep integration of navigation system, high-precision map, and NIO Pilot automatic assisted driving system.”

Nio is one of a number of emerging domestic electric vehicle brands in China. It is sometimes called China’s “Tesla killer” – a nickname that shows its ambition to rival the US firm.

 

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