According to an article published by Spiegel, and also covered by Electrek, a German court has ruled that Tesla must buy back a Model 3 from an owner who is concerned that the car's "self-driving" features don't work as advertised.
We can't say we didn't see this coming, as there have been complaints from Tesla owners for some time now. Tesla is working to improve its cars' advanced driver-assist systems, and it appears to be making some progress. However, the company charged people a hefty chunk of cash for a feature that was supposed to be complete some time ago, and it's still in Beta form.
What's more, while Tesla Autopilot is standard in all of its cars, the Full Self-Driving Capability – which can't drive the cars on its own in any market – isn't yet available in Europe. This means Tesla owners outside of the US who paid for the feature still can't use it. Moreover, even on our shores, the feature is only active in some owners' cars. They have to achieve a certain Tesla Safety Score and then be approved by the company to test the technology.
At any rate, the owner in Germany noted that when he engaged Autopilot, he felt like his Model 3 was driving like a drunk driver. Spiegel points out that the Tesla owner paid 6,300 euros for a software package that's simply not compatible with the car's currently installed hardware. The article explains:
"As a result, assistance functions such as automatically overtaking slower vehicles on the freeway did not work. The steering behavior at entrances and exits or motorway junctions is spongy and resembles that of a "drunk novice driver". Traffic lights and stop signs are not recognized."
Tesla says it isn't aware of any hardware or software issues with the car. It also explained that the necessary hardware upgrade would have been free. However, the company is selling people cars and charging them extra for a feature they may only have access to in the future.
After years of delays, there's really no telling when full access will come to fruition, and if and when it does, people outside the US will likely have to wait even longer.
With all of that said, the court has reportedly ordered Tesla to take the car back and refund the owner the full 69,000 euros. Tesla has already appealed the verdict.