Tesla is now facing an investigation by the California DMV over whether it falsely advertised the autonomous capabilities of Full Self-Driving.
Tesla is now facing the possibility of legal ramifications in California over claims of how advanced its Full Self-Driving (FSD) is. Recently, Tesla privately disagreed with CEO Elon Musk’s ambitious promises to deliver the highest level of autonomous driving soon. Despite the disagreement, some drivers have assumed that the vehicles are fully autonomous, occasionally leading to disastrous consequences.
For years, Tesla has been working on autonomous driving to supplement its vehicles. The company has managed to reach Level 2 of the current five-tier classification system. Tesla’s vehicles can automate some driving, but they ultimately need driver supervision for the entire time that they’re active. However, according to Elon Musk, Level 5 (or FSD) is expected by the end of the year with Tesla now even taking pre-orders for its FSD system. In reality, FSD still appears to be some time away, suggesting Musk won’t be able to deliver on a 2021 release. Now, the disparity is catching up with Tesla.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the California Department of Motor Vehicles is investigating Tesla for false advertising. According to the report, there is a concern that Tesla is intentionally misleading customers by hiding the fine print stating that the vehicle still needs “active supervision.” The DMV still has not revealed any firm details regarding the ongoing investigations; however, if found guilty, Tesla could face heavy consequences and especially in California.
What An Investigation Could Mean For Tesla
Tesla is in for an uphill battle if the DMV finds the company guilty of false advertising. A sentence includes the revocation of autonomous vehicle deployment permits. The company could also lose licenses with dealers and manufacturers. Not only could Tesla lose substantial ground in California, but any Tesla vehicle driving in California without the necessary license could be ceased by authorities. While the report does not indicate whether other states are also looking to clamp down on Tesla, it is possible, considering Tesla has run into safety issues in other states in the past.
Internally, Tesla — and subsequently, Musk — can temper advertising and promote driver-guided operation more. The company can also change up how it’s approaching its current FSD program. With a $10,000 premium on top of the car’s actual price, an argument could be made for false advertising, considering the company hasn’t delivered on the technology yet. Not to mention, Tesla clearly appears to be moving forward with its plans to introduce a subscription model, instead of the huge upfront payment required for Full Self-Driving.
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Source: Los Angeles Times
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