Tesla assures Chinese car owners after auto show protest

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FILE PHOTO: Visitors wearing face masks check a China-made Tesla Model Y sport utility vehicle (SUV) at the electric vehicle maker's showroom in Beijing

(Refiles to fix typos in final paragraph)

BEIJING (Reuters) -U.S. electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc told customers in China on Monday that problems with how the company addresses customer issues will be solved after a social media storm caused by a protest at the Shanghai auto show last week.

An unhappy customer clambered atop a Tesla at the show to protest the company’s handling of her complaints about malfunctioning brakes involved with a car accident.

The incident got wide attention and Tesla apologised to Chinese consumers for not addressing a customer’s complaints in a timely way, and said it would launch a review of its service operations in the world’s biggest auto market.

On China’s Twitter-like Weibo, Tesla, which is making Model 3 sedans and Model Y sport-utility vehicles in Shanghai, posted pictures of milk tea and coffee sent by owners to its staff and said thanks to customers. It also apologised for pressure it brought to customers.

In earlier posts, it said it has contacted the customer and is working with the local market regulator to investigate the car accident.

(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Tony Munroe; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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