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SUIT AGAINST TESLA CLEARS FIRST HURDLE IN AUTONOMOUS DRIVING DISPUTE

16/05/2024 12:06 PM

SAN JOSE (California), May 16 (Bernama-dpa) -- A California judge on Wednesday rejected a bid by electric car pioneer Tesla to dismiss a lawsuit over its advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), reported German news agency (dpa).

The lawsuit accuses the company of making misleading claims in its advertising, and in its choice of ADAS names in particular, which include "Autopilot" and "Full Self-Driving Capability".

The plaintiff claims that Tesla has consistently deceived the public when marketing the programmes, suggesting since 2016 that the company's ADAS were already fully functional or about to be, when in fact the software remained in the development stage and was unsafe to use.

The suit also refers to claims made by company boss Elon Musk, who said at the time that a Tesla would be able to drive itself from the US west coast to the east coast by the end of 2017.

Judge Rita Lin on Wednesday ruled that the plaintiff had shown in detail and plausibly that he had relied on these claims when he bought a Tesla Model S in January 2017. 

The plantiff also paid a premium of several thousand dollars for the future expansion stage of Tesla's "Autopilot" system called "Full Self-Driving" - which, however, does not make a Tesla an autonomous car yet. 

Although "Full Self-Driving" can now be tested by drivers in the US as an advanced "Autopilot" version, it is still only an assistance system in which the person at the wheel remains responsible and must be ready to take control of the vehicle at any time. 

Tesla has now added the word "supervised" to the "FSD" name.

The carmaker was seeking to have lawsuit dismissed altogether, but the judge only struck out some individual points. The plaintiff is also seeking class action status, which could greatly increase the pressure on the company. A decision on this is to be made later.

The plaintiff also points out that Musk has repeatedly predicted that Teslas would soon be able to drive autonomously. The chief executive officer later admitted that he had often been too optimistic with his promises about self-driving cars.

-- BERNAMA-dpa



 


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