Tesla made misleading claims about

The complaint alleges that the company made “false or misleading” statements in advertisements on its website by claiming that Tesla vehicles were, or could be, equipped with advanced driver assistance features.
The Tesla (TSLA) ads ran in marketing materials on the company’s website “on at least five dates” between May 2021 and July 2022, the complaint states.

They included descriptions such as “Autopilot”[ads1]; and “Full Self-Driving Capability” and used such wording as “All you have to do is get in and tell your car where to go… Your Tesla will figure out the optimal route, navigating urban streets, complex intersections and highways,” the suit said.

Another claim that the California DMV alleged was misleading said, “The system is designed to be able to complete short and long trips without requiring action from the person in the driver’s seat.”

“These ads are a deceptive practice” under California civil law, the DMV complaint said.

Tesla does not typically respond to requests for comment.

Tesla has published disclaimers as recently as June warning that the features still require active driver monitoring, contradicting the “misleading labels and claims,” ​​the complaint added.

Federal investigators expand investigation into Tesla Autopilot crash

Tesla’s advertising actions could cause it to temporarily lose its manufacturer’s license and license plate number in California, the complaint warned.

Data released in June by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that it was 273 crashes in the past nine months involving Tesla’s driver assistance technologies, caused by either its “full self-driving” software or its predecessor, Tesla Autopilot.

Of 497 total crashes studied by NHTSA, 43% of those caused by driver assistance technologies occurred in California, the data found.

Tesla’s autopilot feature comes standard in all of its vehicles, making it one of those the industry’s most widely used autopilot systems. While Tesla reminds drivers to be alert while using it, a 2021 MIT study revealed that users who used the system became more distracted and looked away from the road more often than when they were. driving without the function.

Tesla has 15 days to respond to the complaint to avoid a default.

The department said this complaint is separate from an ongoing review of the intended design and technological capabilities of Tesla vehicles.

The Los Angeles Times was the first news outlet to report the complaint.

CNN’s Matt McFarland contributed to this report.

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