According to the California DMV, Tesla has falsely advertised its Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD) features on its website. Moreover, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and the company itself have made a habit of touting the capability of these features to the point that some people may believe they are fully autonomous.
Tesla doesn't currently make any feature that can drive a car by itself. Instead, the Autopilot and Full Self-Driving capability are driver-assist systems. Both require a driver to be in the driver's seat paying attention and ready to take control at any time.
The DMV's accusations came forward after complaints were filed with California's Office of Administrative Hearings. Basically, the DMV said that Tesla has been misleading its customers and potential buyers about the capability of its advanced driver-assist systems. The state went so far as to say Tesla made or published statements that are simply not based on fact.
According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, Tesla's website stated that Autopilot "enables your car to steer, accelerate and brake automatically within its lane." The automaker says FSD adds the ability for the car to obey traffic signals and make lane changes.
That said, Tesla also explained that Autopilot and FSD do not make a Tesla vehicle autonomous, and both features require active supervision from an attentive driver.
The DMV believes that the details shared by Tesla above are contradictory to one another, which makes the company's labels misleading, and potentially dangerous. You can't say something is capable of some task, but then turn around and say it actually isn't without help.
As far as punishment is concerned, there's a chance California could revoke Tesla's license to build and sell its cars in California. However, it's not likely it will go so far. According to multiple sources, it seems the DMV may force Tesla to compensate owners, which is similar to what has happened in individual cases abroad.
First of all, what do you think of the California DMV's accusations? Do you agree? So you think Tesla should change the names and descriptions of its driver-assist systems?
We'd also like to know what you think the punishment could (should) be. Could Tesla really lose its license in its largest market in the US? What's a reasonable expectation here?
Source: Reuters via Autoblog