Tesla misleads customers about self-driving features, senators tell FTC

A Tesla Product S vehicle geared up with Autopilot

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Visuals

Two Democratic senators asked the Federal Trade Commission to examine Tesla about the firm’s marketing of its Autopilot and Total Self-Driving, or FSD, technological know-how.

In a letter Wednesday, Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Ed Markey of Massachusetts questioned FTC Chair Lina Khan to probe Tesla for “most likely misleading and unfair practices” in its marketing and advertising of those people systems.

The letter comes two days after the Countrywide Highway Traffic Protection Administration opened a official investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot process. NHTSA claimed in public documents that because 2018, it has identified 11 crashes involving a Tesla with Autopilot engaged putting at least one particular vehicle at a to start with-responder web-site. The technology is a confined self-driving aspect that however calls for human operation.

The senators claim that Tesla’s advertising messages could not be entirely symbolizing Autopilot and FSD’s capabilities.

“We fear that Tesla’s Autopilot and FSD features are not as mature and trustworthy as the company pitches to the community,” they wrote, pointing to feedback from CEO Elon Musk as nicely as a 2019 YouTube video entitled “Complete Self-Driving” and has a connection to Tesla’s site.

“Tesla motorists listen to these claims and imagine their automobiles are equipped to generate them selves — with most likely fatal outcomes,” the senators wrote.

They extra that Tesla’s “Full Self-Driving” program, which Tesla released in a beta model this yr, is in fact not entirely autonomous as the title indicates. They said that Musk’s “tepid safeguards tucked away on social media are no justification for deceptive drivers and endangering the lives of anyone on the street.”

“Tesla and Mr. Musk’s recurring overstatements of their vehicle’s abilities — irrespective of very clear and regular warnings — display a deeply concerning disregard for the basic safety of individuals on the street and demand authentic accountability,” they wrote. “Their promises set Tesla motorists — and all of the travelling general public — at risk of serious injuries or dying. In light of these fears, we urge you to quickly open an investigation into Tesla’s repeated and overstated statements about their Autopilot and Total Self-Driving capabilities and take proper enforcement motion to avoid even more injury or dying as a outcome of any Tesla aspect.”

Tesla was not accessible to remark. An FTC spokesperson verified the agency acquired the letter but declined to comment even more.

Tesla shares have been up additional than 3% on Wednesday early morning.

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