Tesla: A new case – that’s what it is this time

Tesla: A new case – that’s what it is this time


The electric car maker is facing more legal trouble because of its driver assistance programs sold under names such as “Autopilot” and “Full Self-Driving”. A US law firm filed a lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of Tesla’s owner who accuses tech billionaire Elon Musk’s company of misleading advertising promises. Tesla did not previously comment on this.

Tesla misled the public in promoting the software, the lawsuit alleges. The manufacturer has suggested since 2016 that its self-driving car technologies are already fully functional or close to being. In fact, the software is still immature and insecure. Promises have “turned bad again and again”. Customers who received software updates act as “unskilled test engineers”.

Tesla boss Musk always insists that his company’s software makes driving safer and helps prevent accidents. Tesla advises customers that these are assistance systems and drivers should keep their hands on the wheel at all times and be ready to take control of the vehicle. However, the apps are controversial – also because words like “autopilot” and “full self-driving” sound like completely autonomous driving.

In August, California traffic authorities sued the automaker for false advertising promises in Tesla’s driver assistance program. What is certain is that in the past, customers have often allowed themselves to be carried away by bold actions. A number of videos of dangerous tricks that drivers depend on software are circulating on the Internet. In June, the US Department of Transportation expanded “automated” investigations into a series of rear-end collisions.

The case should now have little effect on Tesla’s course. It’s more important that the electric car manufacturer finally gets its “autopilot” fully on the road. However, investors who have paper in their portfolio can continue to do so.