Tesla is facing another legal battle after Elon Musk was charged over alleged fake claims its Autopilot and Full Self-Driving features provide autonomous vehicle control.
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in California said in the filing the automaker made misleading ads that exaggerated its advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).
The DMV alleged that the electric vehicle company “made or disseminated statements that are untrue or misleading, and not based on facts,” in complaints dated July 28 and made public on Friday, August 5.
The complaints were filed with the Office of Administrative Hearings in the state.
The DMV also said vehicles with Autopilot and Full Self-Driving technologies “could not at the time of those advertisements, and cannot now, operate as autonomous vehicles.”
The agency is considering remedies, which may include revoking Tesla’s license to sell vehicles in California and ordering the firm to compensate drivers.
However, California is the company’s largest US market.
The automaker, which has dissolved its media relations team, did not reply to emailed requests for comment immediately.
Tesla has stated Autopilot “enables your car to steer, accelerate and brake automatically within its lane.”
The company also alleged that its Full-Self Driving technology allows vehicles to observe traffic signals and change lanes.
Tesla’s website highlights that both technologies “require active driver supervision,” with a “fully attentive” driver with their hands on the wheel, “and do not make the vehicle autonomous.”
But the DMV stated that this disclaimer “contradicts the original untrue or misleading labels and claims, which is misleading, and does not cure the violation.”
In 2021, the company sold 121,000 vehicles in California, out of a total of 352,000 sold nationwide.
Since 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has started 38 special investigations into Tesla car accidents in which ADAS systems were suspected of being deployed.
Nineteen people were killed in the collisions, including a motorcyclist killed in Utah last month.
The NHTSA did not respond immediately to the DMV allegations.