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Five-year old Kid starts Tesla Model S in a shopping mall in China, hits a baby

Published on March 9, 2015 by Tycho de Feijter

Five-year old Kid starts Tesla Model S in a shopping mall in China, hits a baby

More misery for Tesla in China. Sales are down, people get fired, and now we have a Model S mayhem in a shopping mall. It happened Sunday in the Tongzhou Wanda Plaza Mall in Tongzhou District in the far-eastern suburbs of Beijing. Tesla had hired a booth in the mall, showing off a red and a white Model S.

The booth was open for all to enter, and the cars were open too, for all to enter. Most amazingly, the cars were switched on to show the fancy dashboard electronics. The engine was off, but that was not enough to stop a five-year old boy.

He got in the white car, sat on the driver’s seat, and on 13:55 exactly managed to start the car. It moved forward six meters and crashed straight into a red stroller with a baby inside. The stroller fell over and the baby fell out. Very fortunately the baby was unhurt. The stroller can be seen just to the north of the white Model S. The mother and child, no doubt shaken and scared, can be seen sitting in front of the book-like display.

Police has announced an official investigation. Tesla has yet to respond.

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A local newspaper sent a reporter to the scene to investigate the situation. The reporter arrived about half an hour after the incident and found that the white car had been locked. The red car however was still open, and incredibly it was still switched on, and you-can’t-make-this-up there was another kid on the driver’s seat, with a dad watching, this time. And the bonnet was open.

The reporter reported that Tesla had taken the following measures to prevent the cars from being started and moved: a wooden block was stuffed under the brake pedal (the brake needs to be engaged for the car to start) , and there was a sticker on the touch screen saying ‘do not touch’. The wooden block can be seen on the picture of the red car. Tesla personnel on the booth said the same measures were in place in the white car, but that was obviously not good enough.

A brake block and a sticker was all Tesla did. They didn’t disable the accelerator, they didn’t disconnect any flying-by-wire wires, they didn’t put the electronic handbrake on, and they didn’t put any blocks in front of the wheels. Amazing amateurism, and extremely dangerous. That baby could have been dead.

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Witnesses talking to police officers sometime after the accident. Note how the white almost-killer car is now surrounded by a red line.

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But a red line doesn’t stop a kid. This one seems about three years old. Trying to open the rear door, but it is really locked.

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And we end this story with a kid standing in front of the still-open red car. A Tesla staff member, responsible for answering questions about the Model S, checks her mobile phone, like nothing ever happened.

What will be next, for Tesla in China..?

14 comments

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  1. Mark- March 9, 2015 Reply

    That block isn’t under the accelerator! It’s under the brake pedal! That is every kind of stupid. Protip: This isn’t Tesla’s fault (at least not the California company I know)

    1. Tycho de Feijter- March 9, 2015 Reply

      @ Mark. Thanks for that brake panel. Checked & Changed.

    2. Peter- March 11, 2015 Reply

      It’s not stupid. The car won’t engage unless the brake pedal is depressed. IF the car manages to get engaged, it will drift forward, like an ICE automatic, due to a (changeable) “creep” setting. What they should have done is turn “creep mode” OFF. Source: I own a Model S

      1. DAN- March 11, 2015 Reply

        Brake pedal, and put it into drive, along with a butt on the seat for the sensors to actually start the car. Along with a key inside.

      2. John- March 16, 2015 Reply

        Seriously??? The kid did start the car and it hit a baby stroller. Any idiot can predict this was an accident waiting to happen. The Tesla fanboyz will defend this company like a religion. Peter, read your comment again. According to you, the car can’t be started unless the brake is depressed. The brake had a piece of wood under it and it still started. How would anyone have stopped it, if the brake pedal was blocked? And you are defending this????? This company is not ready for prime time and it’s owners seem to act like drones.

  2. Gary- March 10, 2015 Reply

    Something wrong here. Tesla’s are on display across the USA with electronics enabled. But without a key, you can’t take them out of gear and move them. Something not right about this story. If this did happen, the staff present should be sacked.

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  4. eeh- March 11, 2015 Reply

    Uhh.. How about where the hell are the parents. Get control of your damn kids.

  5. Randy- March 11, 2015 Reply

    Not only the parents issue. What the hell are workers doing checking phones while at the display. Who the hell was watching what was going on while you have this display up. Employees should all get get fired.

  6. James- March 11, 2015 Reply

    All they have to do is unlock the car and then take the keys out of range of the car. Then it is not going anywhere!

  7. Dan- March 11, 2015 Reply

    Some idiot left the car in drive.

  8. Richard Joash Tan- March 13, 2015 Reply

    “A brake block and a sticker was all Tesla did. They didn’t disable the accelerator, they didn’t disconnect any flying-by-wire wires, they didn’t put the electronic handbrake on, and they didn’t put any blocks in front of the wheels. Amazing amateurism, and extremely dangerous. That baby could have been dead.”

    AND YOU ARE A BULLSHIT!!!!!!!!!

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