Tesla allowed by German court to continue advertising Autopilot, autonomous driving

Tesla Allowed to Continue Autopilot, Autonomous Driving Advertising by German Court

Tesla may continue to mention its driver assistance system and autonomous driving capabilities in its advertising in Germany after a court dismissed a complaint against the practice. Germany’s Wettbewerbszentrale, an industry-sponsored body tasked with regulating anti-competitive practices, filed a so-called non-acceptance complaint with Germany’s Federal Court of Justice.

A court spokesman said the complaint was dismissed on July 28, allowing Tesla to use the phrases “full capacity for autonomous driving” and “autopilot inclusive” in its German advertising materials.

Industry publication Teslamag first reported the disapproval earlier this week.

Wettbewerbszentrale’s complaint came in response to a decision by the Higher Regional Court of Munich in October 2021 that confirmed an appeal by Tesla against a lower district court’s previous ruling that prohibited the use of the phrase.

Earlier this month Tesla was also accused by the California state transportation regulator of falsely advertising the offer of autonomous vehicle controls to Autopilot and full self-driving features.

Last week, two US lawmakers chairing subcommittees overseeing auto safety spoke at a briefing on their investigation into accidents involving Tesla electric vehicles using Autopilot and advanced driver assistance systems, according to a letter seen by Reuters. asked the federal auto safety regulator.

US Senator Gary Peters and Representatives, both Democrats, said in a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that they were concerned that “federal investigations and recent reporting have uncovered disturbing safety issues” at Tesla.

The lawmakers asked, “Given the increasing number of deaths caused by accidents in tractor trailers of Tesla vehicles… has NHTSA considered launching a defect investigation into the issue?”

“Does NHTSA strike a balance between investigative thoroughness and addressing urgent, emerging risks to motor vehicle safety,” the letter said. And if the agency has sufficient resources and legal authority to properly investigate advanced driver assistance systems.

NHTSA did not immediately comment. In July, NHTSA administrator Steve Cliff told Reuters he wanted to complete an investigation into Tesla’s advanced driver assistance system Autopilot “as soon as possible, but I also want to fix it. There’s a lot of information.” That’s what we need to find.”

© Thomson Reuters 2022


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