California DMV Says Tesla FSD, Autopilot Advertising Misleading

in 2022 June 27 The Tesla showroom in Corte Madera, California is full of brand new Tesla cars.

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The California Department of Motor Vehicles filed the charge Tesla engages in fraudulent marketing of its driver assistance systems, labeled Autopilot and Full Self Driving in the US, according to a filing with a state administrative agency.

Elon Musk’s electric car business has more at stake than his reputation — at worst, the company could temporarily lose the licenses that allow it to operate as a vehicle manufacturer and car dealer in California.

A couple July 28 innings with the California Office of Administrative Hearings, a DMV official and attorneys wrote:

“Instead of simply identifying product or brand names, these Autopilot and Fully Self-Driving Capabilities labels and descriptions indicate that vehicles with ADAS features will operate as autonomous vehicles, but vehicles with these ADAS features cannot make those advertisements during and now cannot function as autonomous vehicles.

Anita Gore, deputy director of the California DMV Office of Public Affairs, told CNBC in an email. said in an email that if the department wins, it will “ask that Tesla be required to advertise to consumers and better educate Tesla drivers about their options.” Autopilot and Fully Self-Driving features, including warning alerts for feature limitations and other actions as needed based on violations.

Gore noted that the action only relates to Tesla’s marketing and advertising practices regarding Autopilot and FSD. The California DMV is conducting a separate safety review of the “anticipated design and technological capabilities of Tesla vehicles” to determine whether they can be used on public roads without a special permit.

According to Gore, the DMV wants to prevent driver misunderstandings and misuse of new vehicle technology.

The Los Angeles Times. previously reported the documents submitted to the DMV to the administrative authority.

Tesla has fifteen days to respond to the charges filed in administrative court or the DMV will enter a default judgment.

Tesla has rolled out Autopilot driver-assistance features in all of its new cars, and sells the top-of-the-line FSD (or Full Self-Driving) option for $12,000 up front or $199 a month. Sometimes the company sells an enhanced autopilot option with some additional features.

Elon Musk’s electric vehicle maker is also allowing drivers to test unfinished driver-assistance features on US public roads through a program called FSD Beta (or Fully Self-Driving Beta).

The FSD Beta is only open to Tesla owners who have the premium FSD system installed. Owners must obtain and maintain a high driver safety score determined by Tesla’s software that monitors their driving to continue using the FSD Beta. The company said the FSD beta has already been installed by more than 100,000 drivers, most of them in the US.

Automakers, including Tesla, are now required to report major crashes involving advanced driver assistance systems to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Tesla According to federal data released in early July, from 2021 until June 2022 July. vehicles accounted for about 70%, or more than 270, of the crashes reported involving these systems. The data is not intended to indicate which automaker’s systems may be the safest.

NHTSA has also initiated at least 37 special crash investigations into crashes involving Tesla vehicles where the company’s driver assistance systems were believed to be a factor. At least 17 people were killed in those crashes, which prompted NHTSA to conduct special crash investigations.

NHTSA has also begun an evaluation of Tesla’s Autopilot technology to confirm whether it is defective and needs to be recalled after a string of crashes in which Tesla cars crashed into parked ambulances.

Read the California DMV’s official charges against Tesla here and here.

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