Tesla Sued Over Alleged False Autopilot, Full Self Driving Claims

Tesla is facing a class-action lawsuit that accuses the electric car maker of misleading the public by falsely advertising its Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD) features.


The complaint, filed Wednesday in the US District Court Northern District of California, alleges that Tesla and its CEO, Elon Musk, have deceived drivers since 2016, when it pledged to equip all cars with self-driving technology.


Plaintiff Briggs Matsko, who paid a $5,000 premium for Enhanced Autopilot in his 2018 Tesla Model X, says Tesla advertised its technology as fully functioning or "just around the corner," 


despite knowing it didn't work or was nonexistent, and made vehicles unsafe, Reuters reports(Opens in a new window).


The company's goal, according to Matsko, was to "generate excitement" about its vehicles, attract investments, boost sales, avoid bankruptcy, drive up stock prices, and become a "dominant player" in electric vehicles.


 "Tesla has yet to produce anything even remotely approaching a fully self-driving car," he says.


The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in July objected to Tesla's description of its Autopilot and FSD features, filing two complaints with the Office of Administrative Hearings that claim Tesla 


"made or disseminated statements that are untrue or misleading, and not based on facts" about its autonomous driving capabilities.


A month earlier, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) expanded its investigation into Autopilot-related accidents. Last summer, the NHTSA opened an investigation into Autopilot in response to 11 crashes.


 It was coded as a preliminary evaluation, or level one. It's now level two, which means the NHTSA will determine "whether a safety recall should be initiated or the investigation should be closed."