California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) accuses Tesla of falsely advertising its Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD) features because reported earlier los angeles times (via CNBC). The agency filed two separate complaints with the state’s Office of Administrative Hearings on July 28, alleging Tesla made “untrue or misleading” claims about the self-driving capabilities of its vehicles.
In the filing, the DMV claims that the names of Tesla’s Autopilot and FSD features, and the language the company uses to describe them, falsely imply that cars equipped with the technology can drive themselves. DMV specifically points out Tesla’s Autopilot pagewhich says its FSD system is “designed to enable short and long-distance travel without the need for any action by the person in the driver’s seat” and to be able to “navigate city streets, complex intersections and highways”.
Tesla includes Autopilot in all of its vehicles, which has features like traffic-aware cruise control and automatic steering. Drivers must pay an additional $12,000 for Tesla’s FSD system, an option that adds automatic parking, automatic lane changes, the ability for drivers to summon the vehicle from a parking space to where they are standing, and access to a test program for testing Upcoming feature. Tesla’s FSD and Autopilot don’t make the vehicle fully autonomous, though, and still require drivers to keep their eyes on the road and keep their hands on the wheel at all times.
“These ‘autonomous’ and ‘full self-driving capabilities’ labels and descriptions are not simply identifying product or brand names, but represent ADAS-equipped vehicles [advanced driver-assistance system] The features will operate as self-driving cars, but vehicles equipped with these ADAS features cannot and do not operate as self-driving cars at the time of these advertisements,” the DMV claimed in the fillout. “These advertisements are a deceptive practice. “
While Tesla has provided a disclaimer about its driver-assistance technology, the DMV said it wasn’t enough to reverse its alleged misleading statement. The DMV’s action could lead to a suspension of Tesla’s license to manufacture and sell cars in California, but the agency may not go that far.Sincerely los angeles timesA spokesman for the agency said it would require Tesla to be properly educated about its Autopilot and FSD features and provide adequate warnings about the technology’s limitations. Tesla has 15 days to respond to the DMV’s complaint or the agency will take action without a hearing.
Tesla has faced similar complaints in the past, with the German government asking the company to stop using the term “autonomous driving” in 2016 over concerns it could imply that its vehicles are fully autonomous. Last August, Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the way Tesla advertised its Autopilot and FSD systems, claiming that the automaker “exaggerated its the ability of the vehicle,” which could “pose a threat to motorists and other road users”.
In June, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its first report detailing crashes involving vehicles equipped with advanced driver assistance systems and self-driving technology. The survey found that Tesla reported the most crashes related to driver assistance technology, with 273 crashes from July 20, 2021, to May 21, 2022, the majority of the 392 total. NHTSA has also investigated more than a dozen crashes involving Tesla vehicles equipped with Autopilot and parked emergency vehicles. NHTSA is also investigating a fatal crash in which a Tesla driver used Autopilot to kill a motorcyclist, which forms one of 39 ongoing investigations involving Tesla vehicles.