You've probably heard on a number of occasions that perhaps Tesla shouldn't be using the Autopilot name for its advanced driver-assist systems. The same has been said about the US EV maker's use of "Full Self-Driving" for cars that aren't fully autonomous. However, a lawsuit brought against Tesla with those claims was unsuccessful after the automaker won its appeal.
Tesla reportedly won in an appeal to a lawsuit filed by the Wettbewerbszentrale (Competition Center). The information related to the lawsuit and the ruling came from Teslarati, via a recent report by German publication TeslaMag.de.
As the story goes, a court in Munich ruled against Tesla in 2020, claiming that the company was using misleading marketing practices related to Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD) capability, the latter of which is still in beta form and currently unavailable outside of North America.
The Competition Center, a highly influential German regulatory agency, along with several other companies, insisted that Tesla's consumers were being misinformed when they were told that Autopilot was included in every Tesla vehicle since Autopilot suggests that the cars could drive themselves. Taking it a step further, the group went to bat against Tesla's FSD since the automaker's website noted that the cars were capable of “automatic driving in town."
When Tesla first learned of the lawsuit, it was clear the automaker would be able to appeal, and, of course, it did. A higher Munich court ruled in favor of Tesla back in October 2021, though the verdict was apparently kept quiet until now. Tesla will reportedly still be able to use the Autopilot name since anyone visiting Tesla's website can learn that its vehicles aren't fully autonomous.
The Competition Center did make some progress, however. The reports suggest that Tesla was forced to change some of the wording on its website related to the advanced driver-assist system's features. For example, if Tesla is providing context about an upcoming feature that will further advance the system's capabilities, it must provide an estimated availability date.
More specifically, the feature language can't just read "coming soon," "next up," or "by the end of the year." Rather, there has to be an actual date that Tesla expects the feature to be completed and rolled out to its customers.
As you may already be aware, this comes at a time when Tesla is facing a similar lawsuit filed by the California DMV. We'll have to wait and see how the case plays out on our shores. In the meantime, we'd love to read about your take on this. What do you think?