Tesla sued by customers for false advertising of automation software
San Francisco, California - A class action lawsuit was filed against carmaker Tesla in California on Wednesday as the company faces fresh legal scrutiny of its advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).
The lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of customers dissatisfied with Tesla's driver assistance software, accuses the company of making misleading claims in its advertising, and in its choice of ADAS names in particular, which include "Autopilot" and "Full Self-Driving Capability."
The plaintiffs claim that Tesla has consistently made promises and deceived the public when marketing the programs, suggesting since 2016 that the company's ADAS were already fully functional or about to be, when in fact the software remained in the development stage and was unsafe to use.
Tesla boss Elon Musk has always stressed that his company's software makes driving safer and helps to avoid accidents, though with the caveat that drivers must keep their hands on the steering wheel and be ready to take control of the vehicle at all times.
"Although these promises have proven false time and time again, Tesla and Musk have continued making them to generate media attention," the lawsuit claims, adding that Tesla customers who received updates of the programs were effectively "untrained test engineers testing experimental software on public roadways."
In August, California's traffic authority sued Tesla for the false advertising of its driving assistance software, and Tesla drivers have been repeatedly caught on camera relying on their ADAS to drive.
Tesla had no immediate response to the filing of the lawsuit.
Cover photo: Jade Gao / AFP