Ride-hailing platform Shenma Zhuanche has called out US electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Tesla for quality issues, claiming that problems with the automaker’s vehicles have cost the company up to RMB 6.5 million (around $965,000).
With nearly 280 Tesla vehicles in its fleet, Shenma asserts that it is the largest buyer of the company’s vehicles in the Asia Pacific region. However, Shenma said in a post on microblogging platform Weibo on Friday that 20% of the Teslas it owns have had electromechanical issues.
The company also claimed that Tesla’s after-sales service is “unsatisfactory,” and inefficiency when dealing with complaints has directly impacted its services, with the average disruption time from repairs and maintenance lasting 45 days.
Shenma said Tesla’s after-sale service did not meet its needs because the EV manufacturer does not have enough service stations or vehicle parts available in China.
Tesla refused to comment when reached by TechNode.
Shenma has subsequently posted three ads on the Thompson Reuters building located in Times Square in New York City to draw attention to the issue.
Telsa faced scrutiny in China last week after one of its vehicles caught fire and exploded in a parking garage in Shanghai. Following the incident, the hashtag “Tesla self ignites” (our translation) went viral on Weibo, with related posts viewed 110 million times as of Sunday morning.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to defend the safety of EVs shortly after the incident, saying there are “over a million combustion engine car fires” a year.
Shenma’s complaint and last’s week’s fire come at a sensitive time for Tesla. The EV company has been working to boost flagging sales in China. Tesla missed its expected revenue for the first quarter, earning $4.5 billion of an anticipated $5.2 billion. The company’s share price fell to $235 by the end of the day Friday from $258 when it reported its first-quarter results on April 24.
Shenma is aimed at the higher-end market and operates a fleet of new energy vehicles, including Teslas and BMWs, among others. According to the company’s website, it offers its services in major Chinese cities including Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou.
Update: This story has been updated to reflect Tesla’s response to Shenma’s claims.