Saturday, June 15, 2024
NewsThe US Department of Justice is Looking into Tesla

The US Department of Justice is Looking into Tesla

Tesla is being investigated both by the NHTSA and the Department of Justice for similar reasons.

  • This probe was opened last year but it has only just been made public.

  • The subject of the investigation is the automaker’s claims about its Self-Driving system.

  • This is not the probe that was launched by the NHTSA over Autopilot crashes.

Tesla’s Autopilot and Full Self-Driving systems have been the subject of an investigation by the NHTSA for the last few months and a second probe has now been uncovered.

After a string of accidents involving Tesla vehicles and ambulances or fire trucks parked on the side of American highways, the NHTSA launched a probe into the automaker and its driver assistance systems.

What wasn’t publicized at the time is that the US Department of Justice also launched its own criminal investigation into Tesla, focusing on the automaker’s claims about the capabilities of Autopilot and FSD.

The probe seeks to find out if Tesla has misled customers about its driver assistance systems by making them seem more capable than they actually are, which could result in drivers having too much confidence in the system and thus becoming complacent when behind the wheel.

The evidence that shows this includes the many comments made by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has claimed since 2016 that the technology is «better than a human driver», as well as videos on the company’s website that say the person in the driver’s seat is only there for legal reasons.

Not the least of the elements that point to false advertising are the system’s names since the standard driver assistance system is called Autopilot and the enhanced version is called Full Self-Driving. Despite what these names suggest, the systems are not capable of driving the car on their own without the full attention of the driver.

Even with these elements to point to, the Department of Justice is unlikely to take any legal action against Tesla since the fine prints included on the company’s website clearly state that the systems are not capable of autonomous driving, thus disproving that the automaker wants to mislead its buyers.

Source: Reuters


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