Tesla is currently “under review” by California’s DMV to determine if the company’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) technology claims were misleading.
Like many companies, Tesla has been working toward autonomous driving technology. Autonomous driving software is ranked on a scale of 0 to 5, with 0 having no autonomous capabilities and 5 requiring no driver control. Currently, Tesla’s FSD is considered a Level 2 technology. Tesla’s tech has recently come under fire for being easily fooled and endangering people’s lives.
In spite of its limitations, Musk has touted FSD, even going so far as to exaggerate claims about the technology. Those exaggerations have helped bring unwanted scrutiny on Tesla, with The L.A. Timesreporting the California DMV is reviewing the company’s claims. In particular, the company’s labeling its technology as “self-driving,” let alone “Full Self-Driving,” could pose legal issues.
“Tesla seems to be asking for legal trouble on many fronts,” law professor Bryant Walker Smith told the L.A. Times. “From the FTC and its state counterparts for deceptive marketing. From the California DMV for, potentially, crossing into the realm of autonomous vehicle testing without state approval, from competitors with driver assistance systems, competitors with actual automated driving systems, ordinary consumers, and future crash victims who could sue under state or federal law.”
Although California law holds the driver responsible for any accidents, the DMV still has the authority to impose penalties on companies that make misleading claims. The penalties could range from withholding autonomous deployment permits to revoking manufacturing and dealership licenses.