The car was traveling over the speed limit for some time, and it slowed significantly prior to the crash.
You're probably well-aware by now that a woman in China got the world's attention by standing atop a Tesla Model 3 at the Shanghai Auto Show. She was protesting about the car and claiming that its brakes failed and nearly killed her family. She even had a t-shirt made that read “Brakes Lost Control” and “Invisible Killer” in Chinese.
After the protest and our related article, we published another article explaining that China was pushing Tesla to improve its customer care. It explained that Tesla has felt the impact of the protest and apologized for “not addressing the customer's complaint in a timely manner.”
However, according to Tesla's official data logs of the Model 3 that crashed, it was being driven well over the local speed limit. Bloomberg says the car was traveling 118.5 kph (74 mph) before the crash, and right before the impact, the car slowed down to about 48.5 kph (30 mph). So, clearly something, most likely the brakes or a safety system, worked to significantly slow the car before the collision. Bloomberg also wrote:
"The data also showed that the driver braked more than 40 times in the half-hour before the crash, and at multiple points the vehicle was traveling at more than 100 kilometers per hour."
While 74 mph might not seem like a high speed, especially to folks in the US, the speed limit on the type of road in China that the Model 3 was traveling in is typically around 80 kph (50 mph). With that said, the driver was traveling way too quickly.
This all came to the forefront when a Chinese market regulator asked Tesla to provide the protester with full driving data starting 30 minutes before the crash. Keep in mind, this was after Tesla downplayed the situation and referred to the woman as a "widely known" protester.
Nonetheless, the data has proven that it wasn't likely Tesla's brakes that were the issue, but rather, a speeding driver, and not being able to slow down enough to avoid a collision.
If it weren't for the Model 3's brakes bringing the unsafe speed down from 74 mph to just 30 mph, the situation could have been much worse. Based on Tesla's driving logs, its brakes may have saved lives rather than almost taken lives.