Tesla is in trouble with the California DMV over its Autopilot and autonomous driving claims, which the agency believes are misleading.
The company has two weeks to respond to the query or risk temporarily losing its licenses to operate as a vehicle manufacturer and automobile dealer in California.
Over the years, Tesla has come under fire for the way it advertises its Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS).
One of the main concerns has been the actual names of the system ‘Autopilot’ and ‘Full Self-Driving Capability’. Some people believe that the names suggest that the systems are autonomous even though they are just driver assistance systems.
The California DMV, which has some authority over Tesla as it has many operations in the state, has shared those concerns in the past.
Now he’s putting pressure on Tesla with not one, but two filings with the California Office of Administrative Hearings claiming that Tesla is falsely promoting those systems as “autonomous” (via CNBC):
“Instead of simply identifying products or brand names, these ‘Autopilot’ and ‘Full Autonomous Driving Capability’ labels and descriptions represent that vehicles equipped with ADAS features will operate as an autonomous vehicle, but vehicles equipped with those ADAS features could not in any case. the time of those announcements, and they cannot now operate as autonomous vehicles.”
The DMV is taking a two-pronged approach in which it is pushing for Tesla to shift its marketing around Autopilot and full autonomous driving and also separately test the capabilities of Tesla’s system as part of a safety review.
Last year, Tesla’s communications with the DMV about full self-driving were released and led to some confusion. Some of the comments made by Tesla to the DMV could be interpreted as contradicting what Tesla and Elon Musk are saying publicly.
Tesla has been trying to convince the DMV that its Full Autonomous Driving Beta (FSD) is not a level 4 or 5 autonomous driving system, so it does not have to report the data to the DMV.
On the publicity front, California DMV Office of Public Affairs Deputy Director Anita Gore said:
“It will ask that Tesla should advertise to consumers and better educate Tesla drivers about the capabilities of its ‘autopilot’ and ‘full self-driving’ features, including cautionary warnings about feature limitations, and for other actions such as appropriate given the violations.”
Tesla now has 15 days to respond to DMV inquiries or risk losing its licenses to operate as a vehicle manufacturer and auto dealer in California.
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