Tesla’s autopilot and autonomous driving claims are under fire again, this time from the California Department of Motor Vehicles in a complaint it filed on July 28.
the complain alleges that the company made “false or misleading” statements in advertisements on their website claiming that Tesla the vehicles were, or could be, equipped with advanced driver assistance system features.
(TSLA) The ads were published in marketing materials on the company’s website “on at least five dates” between May 2021 and July 2022, according to the complaint.
They included descriptions like “Autopilot” and “Full Autonomous Driving Capability” and used words like “All you’ll have to do is get in and tell your car where to go…Your Tesla will figure out the optimal route, navigating through urban streets, complex intersections, and highways,” the lawsuit said.
Another statement that the California DMV alleged was misleading read: “The system is designed to be capable of short- and long-distance trips without any action being required by the person in the driver’s seat.”
“These ads are a deceptive practice” under the California Civil Code, the DMV complaint says.
Tesla does not typically respond to requests for comment.
Tesla has posted disclaimers since June warning that the features still require active driver supervision, contradicting “misleading labels and claims,” the complaint added.
Tesla’s advertising actions could cause it to temporarily lose its manufacturer’s license and special license plate number in California, the complaint warned.
published data in June by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that there was 273 accidents in the last nine months related to Tesla driver assistance technologies, caused by be it its “full autonomous driving” software or its precursor, Tesla Autopilot.
Of a total of 497 accidents studied by the NHTSA, 43% of those caused by driver assistance technologies took place in California, according to the data.
Tesla’s Autopilot feature comes standard on all of its vehicles, making it one of the the most widely used autopilot systems in the industry. While Tesla reminds drivers to stay alert while using it, a 2021 MIT studies revealed that users using the system were more distracted and looked away from the road more often than when they were drive without the feature.
tesla has 15 days to respond to the complaint in order to avoid a default decision.
The department said this complaint is separate from a review in progress of the intended design and technological capabilities of Tesla vehicles.
The Los Angeles Times was the first media outlet to report on the complaint.
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