This comes after Germany banned Tesla from advertising its Autopilot system.
Tesla's Autopilot system is a technological marvel, but the semi-autonomous driving system has faced increasing scrutiny after being blamed for causing fatal crashes over the years. Some drivers forget that Tesla's Autopilot system is not fully autonomous and requires them to keep their hands on the steering wheel and stay alert to intervene if necessary.
This month, a court in Munich, Germany, banned Tesla from advertising the Autopilot system over fears that owners have been misled about the technology's capability. There's more bad news for Elon Musk because South Korea is now investigating reported safety issues with Tesla vehicles.
This is a huge blow for Tesla, as the Model 3 outsold the Hyundai Kona Electric in its home market of South Korea last month as well as popular premium BMW and Audi models.
According to Business Insider, the South Korean government is investigating reported issues relating to the Autopilot system including braking and steering systems. Local media claims the Tesla Model 3 is under investigation by the South Korean government's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport division after receiving customer complaints reporting "numerous safety issues" with the electric sedan. The probe could take between six months to a year to complete. If any defects are found, the government will issue recalls for the Model 3. Tesla is cooperating with the investigation.
In addition, The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating Tesla's claims about its Autopilot system. It wants to check if Tesla's claims about Autopilot are valid. According to Korea's JoongAng Daily, Tesla is also under investigation by Korea's Fair Trade Commission for exaggerating the capabilities of the Autopilot technology.
Specifically, the agency is concerned about Tesla advertising how its Autopilot system can control the car's speed and direction. Potentially, then, Tesla could be banned from advertising its Autopilot system in South Korea as well as Germany. In the US, the NHTSA has also raised concerns about the Autopilot's misleading name, but has not banned Tesla from advertising the system in America.