In that report it’s revealed that the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has placed Tesla under review to determine whether claims of full self-driving capabilities are misleading.
While Tesla does make it known that its vehicles aren’t fully autonomous just yet, phrases like Autopilot and Full Self-Driving Capability on its website surely help create an air of confusion. It also doesn’t help that notes about Full Self-Driving are in minuscule font on the Tesla website.
More than that it’s not hard to find video on social media of folks abandoning the drivers seat and letting the car drive itself. We should point out that Tesla states a driver must be behind the wheel when Autopilot is engaged, though being asleep doesn’t really count.
Now, the California DMV can’t take action against Tesla for misleading advertising, but it can take action against manufacturers who advertise cars as self-driving when they aren’t.
Should Tesla be one of those manufacturers, the DMV could revoke or suspend Tesla’s autonomous vehicle deployment permits as well as its manufacture and dealer licenses.
While one state might not seem like that big of a deal, California is very much Tesla Country. According to a report from Bloomberg, 73 801 Teslas were registered in California last year. Without permits from the DMV, law enforcement could remove Tesla vehicles from public roads if self-driving is active.
More so, this isn’t the first time Full Self-Driving and Autopilot have come under fire from lawmakers. In 2020 a Munich court ruled that Tesla had misled its customers regarding the vehicle’s self-driving capabilities. As result Tesla can no longer use the terms “full potential for autonomous driving” and “Autopilot inclusive” in its advertising in Germany.