A class action lawsuit was filed against Tesla, accusing the company of defrauding the public. The issue is deception allegedly by falsely advertising Autopilot features and fully autonomous driving, reports Automotive News.
The lawsuit accuses Tesla and the company’s owner, Elon Musk, of promoting the technology since 2016 as fully functional or “just around the corner.” This was done despite the fact that the technology does not work or does not exist. Elon Musk and his team knew this and thereby made vehicles unsafe.
Tesla took this step to “create hype” for its vehicles, attract investment, increase sales, avoid bankruptcy, increase its stock price and become a “dominant player” in the market electric cars, according to plaintiff Briggs Matsko.
“Tesla has yet to produce anything even remotely approaching a fully self-driving car,” Matsko said.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Francisco, seeks unspecified damages from people who bought or leased Tesla vehicles since 2016 with Autopilot, Advanced Autopilot and Full autonomous control.
Tesla did not immediately respond to requests for comment, as it disbanded its media relations department in 2020.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened 38 special investigations since 2016 into Tesla crashes believed to have involved ADAS driver assistance systems. Nineteen deaths were recorded in these accidents.