Chinese electric car maker Nio says vehicle falls from roof

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Chinese electric car maker Nio says vehicle falls from roof

A leading Chinese electric car company said two people were killed when one of its vehicles fell from the third floor of its Shanghai headquarters.

Nio, a homegrown brand that is seen as a potential rival to Tesla, said the incident happened around 5.20 pm on Wednesday. One of the victims was its employee, and the other was a partner company. They were both inside the vehicle when it fell.

After the incident, we immediately began to work with the public security department to find the cause of the accident, the company said in an initial statement that this was not caused by the vehicle itself. Videos circulated on China s social media showed local medical workers trying to rescue the two people in the car. Nio said it was very sad about the tragedy and that the company had set up a team to help the victims' families.

The tone of the company's initial statement was drew criticism on Weibo, where commenters accused Nio of trying to avoid its responsibility. One user from Sichuan said that the last line of your statement, which said it was not caused by the vehicle, highlighted the clod-bloodedness of capital.

Nio has since issued a revised statement, putting the line not caused by the vehicle in brackets in an attempt to de-emphasise it. The communications director of the company said he would take the responsibility for causing such controversy.

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 electric vehicle giant in the world's most populous nation.

It is not the first time that the Chinese brand has faced questions about its product. A Chinese businessman died last year in a Nio ES 8 model after switching to the car's semi-autonomous Navigate on Pilot driving features.