Consumer Groups Say Tesla’s Autopilot Marketing is Misleading

Consumer advocate groups the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) and Consumer Watchdog are calling on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate Tesla over its marketing of the Autopilot feature. The groups claim that Tesla’s marketing of its semi-autonomous feature—including the name “Autopilot”—has been misleading, causing Tesla owners to believe the feature is more autonomous than it really is. Several crashes have occurred while vehicles were in Autopilot mode, including two that have resulted in a fatality.

According to the letter the groups sent to the FTC, Tesla has violated FTC regulations by leading consumers to believe the Autopilot feature makes the vehicle fully autonomous. CAS director Jason Levine says that the exaggeration of Autopilot’s autonomous capabilities has boosted sales at the expense of consumer safety.

Did Tesla Violate California DMV Regulations for Autonomous Vehicles?

The groups have also asked the California DMV to investigate Tesla’s marketing of Autopilot, claiming it violates regulations the department enacted this year for autonomous vehicles. Among these regulations is a stipulation that a company cannot make claims that a vehicle is autonomous when it does not meet the criteria for that qualification.  

“The name Autopilot is problematic, as it connotes a level of autonomy that the feature does not provide. Even with warnings in vehicle manuals reminding drivers to remain focused on the road, the name and marketing of the feature can mislead owners,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark Legal Group.

Our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the California personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in an auto accident and want to discuss your legal options, contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, El Centro, and Yucca Valley, and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.

DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.

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