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Misleading advertising about Tesla Autopilot could be expensive

Tesla has always advertised its Tesla Autopilot. This is supposed to be far ahead of the competition. But apparently the US carmaker is now facing criminal charges because of its fully automatic driving feature. The accusation of misleading advertising is in the room.

Multiple accidents with Tesla Autopilot

Autonomous driving is on everyone’s lips and represents the challenge of the next few years for many car manufacturers. However, a famous example from the US now makes it clear that companies should not put their money where their mouth is in this area. U.S. carmaker Tesla’s advertising around its Autopilot could now fall on its feet. The news portal Reuters reports that the U.S. judiciary is considering legal action against the e-car maker led by the dazzling tech visionary Elon Musk. The relevant investigation is believed to have been ongoing since last year. Behind this is an uncharacteristic accumulation of car accidents in which a Tesla was always involved with Autopilot switched on. A corresponding threat of a large fine in the millions was already issued by the U.S. Transportation Safety Administration last year.

Wrong choice of words about Tesla Autopilot could be costly

It is mainly the discrepancy between the statements of Tesla CEO Elon Musk and the manual of the models 3, Y, X and S, which cause the U.S. authorities to shake their heads. This is particularly the case with Autopilot. For example, Musk promises that you can easily drive the car without having to touch the steering wheel even once. However, in the user manual as well as in the car, you are always advised to keep your hands on the steering wheel even when Autopilot is switched on. No wonder – after all, U.S. law requires you to do so. But it’s not just the boss himself who is going out on a limb in this regard. Confusing statements are also coming from other company sources. Tesla sometimes says that they only have to place a person in the driver’s seat in videos about Autopilot for legal reasons. Of course, this makes one or the other potential customer more interested in a Tesla.

However, the US judiciary is now to find out whether people were actually misled. If the suspicion is confirmed, this could be very expensive for the carmaker. However, it is also likely to be anything but easy to prove that the manufacturer’s customers were misled. Consequently, experts are already assuming that it will be a long time before Tesla is actually liable for damages. In this context, no simple questioning of buyers should help to answer the question. Rather, it is now up to the investigating authorities to locate internal writings that underscore a deliberate deception. What consequences this can have is probably illustrated by no example as clearly as that of Trevor Milton. The CEO of electric car startup Nikola now faces up to 20 years in prison as a result of various frauds and misleading statements.

Competitors are in the fast lane

Tesla CEO Musk, on the other hand, is not aware of any culpability. Rather, he insists he merely wants to prove what is technically possible. If you listen more closely to the public statements, you actually notice that a suitable warning is often sent after them as well. For example, that you can only use Autopilot if you are really behind the wheel and can intervene if necessary. However, Tesla’s Autopilot is also repeatedly criticized by the US traffic authorities. Problems have occurred too often, resulting in fatalities.

Elon Musk also made this unusually openly public last week. He announced that Tesla will probably not get permission to use Autopilot without a driver this year. Meanwhile, the competition is not sleeping. According to the good old saying “when two quarrel, the third is happy”, it is currently Mercedes that is likely to be the new leader in autonomous driving. The long-established Stuttgart-based carmaker is expected to officially launch two fully automated models on the highway as early as next year.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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Tesla has always advertised its Tesla Autopilot. This is supposed to be far ahead of the competition. But apparently the US carmaker is now facing criminal charges because of its fully automatic driving feature. The accusation of misleading advertising is in the room. Multiple accidents with Tesla Autopilot Autonomous driving is on everyone’s lips and … (Weiterlesen...)

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