In a complaint filed by the state’s Office of National Counsel, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) said Tesla misled potential customers with advertisements that exaggerated the functionality of its advanced driver assistance systems. driving (ADAS).
Tesla “has made or made statements that are false or misleading, and that are not based on facts,” the DMV said in a July 28 complaint released Friday.
Vehicles with Autopilot and Full Self-Driving technology “could not, at the time of these announcements, and cannot now, operate as self-driving vehicles,” the DMV added.
The DMV is seeking remedies that could include suspending Tesla’s license to sell cars in California and requiring the company to compensate drivers.
Tesla, which has disbanded its media relations department, did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment.
The Los Angeles Times previously reported on the DMV complaint.
Tesla said the Autopilot system “allows your car to steer, accelerate and brake automatically in its lane,” while the Self-Driving system also allows cars to obey traffic lights and maneuvers. change of route.
According to Tesla’s website, both technologies “require active driver supervision,” and a “responsive” driver whose hands are on the wheel, “and don’t make the car drive itself.”
But the DMV said Tesla’s disclaimer “contradicts the label with claims that are false or misleading in nature, which are misleading, and do not cure the violation.”
California is Tesla’s largest US market. The company sold 121,000 cars there in 2021, out of about 352,000 cars sold nationwide.
Since 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened 38 special investigations into accidents involving Tesla vehicles in which the use of ADAS systems was suspected. Nineteen deaths have been reported as a result of these crashes, including a motorcyclist killed last month in Utah.
NHTSA did not immediately comment on the DMV’s complaint.
National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Jennifer Homendy said in an interview with Reuters last year that “there is no comparison” between Tesla’s Autopilot and a vehicle used in space.
“Other manufacturers will do whatever they want to sell cars and it’s up to the government to stop that,” he said.