Tesla Settles Model S, X Autopilot-Related Class Action Lawsuit

Tesla Autopilot

MAY 29 2018 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 19

While Tesla is under increased scrutiny related to its Autopilot system, the automaker chooses to settle an ongoing class action lawsuit.

The recent deal must still undergo approval in San Jose federal court, which may be granted soon by District Judge Beth Labson Freeman. Few details about the specifics of the agreement have been divulged. What we do know is that a group of Tesla owners filed the suit stating that the company’s semi-autonomous Autopilot system was primarily unusable, as well as dangerous.

A group of six Tesla Model S and Model X owners teamed up with lawyer Steve Berman to go to bat against Tesla after the individuals each paid an extra $5,000 for a system that they claim wasn’t fully functional. The Autopilot technology was (and still is) in the midst of several feature updates. Although the plaintiffs were made well aware at the time of purchase that Autopilot was still in the updating stages, they believe Tesla misled them.

At the time that these owners paid for the optional equipment, it was unable to perform functions such as automated emergency braking or side collision warnings. Additionally, the automatic high beam headlights weren’t working properly, if at all. The group asserts that the technology was braking at times when there was no reason to stop or failing to slow down for large trucks.

After paying the additional $5,000 upcharge for a system they expected to make their car safer and then not seeing the results, they chose to sue Tesla. Though the lawyer reached out to represent a nationwide class of Tesla owners, only these six are mentioned. The case specifically alleges (via Automotive News):

 . . . the company had engaged in fraud by concealment, and had violated various state consumer protection and unfair competition laws.

Neither Tesla nor Steve Berman responded to Automotive News’ request for comment.

Source: Automotive News

Categories: Tesla

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19 Comments on "Tesla Settles Model S, X Autopilot-Related Class Action Lawsuit"

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Texas Leaf

I took a 250 mile back roads trip in my 2018 Leaf yesterday. I wasn’t planning to take such a long trip but I was having so much fun using the ProPilot with steering assist and full stop and go Adaptive Cruise Control that I didn’t want to stop. The steering assist takes some time getting used to but it worked well even on two lane roads as long as the lanes were well marked.

Texas Leaf

I guess my point is that the technology upgrade, that includes ProPilot, on the Leaf SL is only $650 and it gives you similar features of the $5000 Tesla technology package. But I guess for some people don’t mind paying 10 times what other people are paying for similar features as long as the features have the Tesla name on it. If I had more money than I knew what to do with I would buy a Tesla with all the bells and whistles, and maybe one for my wife, but I’m a working man and I need to be careful how I spend my money.

eject

The joke is like the Tesla the Nissan contains all the sensors and gear anyways even if you don’t buy the PilotPro. It needs them for passing the safety tests. Which it does handsomely.
https://youtu.be/CVeSCjgACiA?t=2m3s

james

On my previous Ford Energi, Adaptive Cruise was $900, lane keeping, I didn’t get, was part of $1300 package. $650 for both is a deal!

EVShopper

No more OTA updates for those owners. Or possibly one last one that bricks their cars.

eject

A more fair solution would have been to give them all the money back and remove the features from the cars.

Vexar

I could see Tesla buying their vehicles back from them. The used market is thriving right now.

Vexar

@steven loveday : should read “misled them”

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

AP or ProPilot or whatever you call it are all gimmicks. You still have to stay alert and hands on wheel.

What a waste of money.

Chris Stork

You’re kidding, right? It’s a whole different feel. Sure, you have to remain alert and attentive, but you’re not constantly micro-adjusting the speed and steering, which is just a subtle and insidious stressor.

And if your daily commute includes stop-and-go traffic, the not having to play Whack-a-Mole with the gas and brake pedals pays for itself. No chance of getting T-boned then.

Or when the traffic is light and smooth on a long drive (like my 5x/year trips from CT to ME), and you have to be attentive but not on “high alert.”

It’s the heavy traffic, like right before it becomes bumper-to-bumper or going past construction or a police stop or a crash scene, when I’m on “high alert” and really looking out for a moment where I have to intervene. But even if that were as much as 50% of my driving, it’s still the other 50% that the system shows its true worth.

SansIce

Exactly – the system really shines for stop and go. I use it when I go up to Vancouver at the border. It is so much more relaxing as you crawl along. I am super pleased with the Tesla autonomous features.

Dave

I think Tesla legal department is trying to get rid of these trivial lawsuits, basically the low hanging fruit, so they can concentrate of the bigger more important ones… The investor lawsuits relating to Model 3 production, and Solar City Acquisition are much more risky, and complicated. Then they will have the wrongful death lawsuits to deal with from the battery fires, and autopilot accidents. I can imagine the sign outside the Tesla Legal Dept says “Now Hiring” .

james

Maybe they can hire from Ford as they downsize their car departments

Get Real

So fantasizes super-troll Dave.

Dave

Oh gosh, are we back to name calling? Good Grief, give it a rest… You can easily confirm the Lawsuits I speak of as they are specifically listed in the Tesla 10Q risk section, so that would be facts.. Not trolling….

Pushmi-Pullyu

Dude, you must think readers here are as clueless as your comments are.

Tesla stockholders voted to give the Board the power to do the SolarCity acquisition. So, you’re trying to tell us there is some judge somewhere who wouldn’t laugh out of court anyone trying to sue a company because they didn’t like the way the vote went?

Now go back to the hole under the bridge you crawled out of, troll.

wavelet

“Though the lawyer attempted to represent a nationwide class of Tesla owners, only the six followed through.”
That’s not consistent with my understanding of class-action lawsuits. It doesn’t matter how many are named in the original class action suit: If the court certifies the lawsuit as a class action, every member of the class can join the settlement (the source Automotive News article isn’t 100% clear, but implies the court did certify the class action).

Only after the terms of the settlement are decided are all affected customers contacted and given a choice to join the settlement. I’ve had this happen to me several times (as a customer) — I was contacted with an email saying I have until date XXXX to either reply that I’m willing to receive a $YYY payment as my part of the settlement, or file my own separate lawsuit.