August 17, 2022


Brand-new Tesla cars sit in a parking lot at Tesla’s showroom on June 27, 2022 in Corte Madera, California.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The California Department of Motor Vehicles has accused Tesla of engaging in deceptive practices around the marketing of driver assistance systems, which are branded Autopilot and Full Self Driving in the United States, according to one of the state’s administrative agencies.

Elon Musk’s electric car business is risking more than its reputation — in a worst-case scenario, the company could temporarily lose the licenses that allow it to operate as an auto manufacturer and auto dealer in California.

In a pair of July 28 filings with the California Office of Administrative Hearings, a DMV official and attorneys wrote:

Rather than simply specifying product or brand names, the ‘autopilot’ and ‘fully autonomous driving’ labels and descriptions represent that vehicles equipped with ADAS features will operate as an autonomous vehicle, but vehicles equipped with these ADAS features cannot, and cannot now, time those announcements. to operate as autonomous vehicles.

If the circuit prevails, California DMV Deputy Director Anita Gore told CNBC that if the circuit prevails, it will “require Tesla to advertise to consumers and better educate Tesla drivers about its ‘autopilot’ features and fully autonomous driving,” including warnings. cautionary measures regarding feature limitations and other actions as applicable due to the breaches.”

The Los Angeles Times I have previously reported DMV filings to the governing body.

Tesla has fifteen days to respond to the charges in the administrative court, or else the DMV will make a default decision.

Tesla includes automated driver assistance features in all of its newly manufactured cars, and sells an FSD (or fully self-driving) option for $12,000 up front or on a subscription basis for $199 per month. Sometimes the company sells the enhanced autopilot option with a portion of the premium features included.

Electric vehicle maker Elon Musk is allowing drivers to test incomplete driver-assistance features on US public roads through a program called the FSD Beta (or Full Self Driving Beta).

Only Tesla owners with the company’s FSD system installed can participate in the FSD Beta. Owners must have a high degree of driver safety, as defined by Tesla’s software that monitors their driving, and then maintain it to continue using the FSD Beta. The company said it has already launched FSD Beta access to more than 100,000 drivers, most of them in the United States

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

Tesla cars made up about 70%, or more than 270, of reported accidents involving these systems between June 2021 and July 2022, according to federal figures released in early July. The statements are not intended to indicate which automakers’ systems may be more secure.

NHTSA has also launched at least 37 special investigations into crashes involving Tesla cars where the company’s driver assistance systems were believed to be a factor. At least 17 deaths resulted from those collisions that inspired the NHTSA’s own crash investigations.

NHTSA has also opened an evaluation of Tesla’s autopilot technology to confirm if it is defective and needs a recall, after a series of accidents in which Tesla cars collided with still-parked emergency responder vehicles.



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