An angry owner has decided to take legal action, which may lead to a class-action lawsuit.
Per Reuters, the complaint, which lists Briggs Matsko as the plaintiff, accuses Tesla and CEO Elon Musk of making deceptive claims and false advertisements stating that both technologies as either fully functional or "just around the corner." Both Tesla and Musk, the suit states, knew the technology did not work. Therefore, vehicles like the Model 3 and Model S are unsafe.
Matsko says this was all done to "generate excitement" about its EVs, attract additional investment, increase sales, drive up its stock price, avoid bankruptcy, and become a "dominant player" in EVs. "Tesla has yet to produce anything even remotely approaching a fully self-driving car," said Matsko. He reportedly paid an additional $5,000 for his 2018 Model X to come with Enhanced Autopilot.
The suit, filed in San Francisco, demands unspecified damages for customers who purchased or leased a Tesla since 2016 that came equipped with Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot, and Full Self-Driving. The suit further states that Tesla owners who receive software updates "effectively act as untrained test engineers" who found "myriad problems" such as vehicles driving into oncoming traffic, failing to make basic turns and even running red lights.
Tesla did not comment on the suit, which is no surprise considering it shut its media department back in 2020.
Both Autopilot and Full Self-Driving have been controversial since they were launched. Autopilot, in particular, has been the subject of numerous lawsuits that claim the tech is unsafe and does not function as claimed. Tesla and Musk have always defended Autopilot, countering that drivers do not understand what it can and cannot do.
Despite the misleading name, Autopilot is officially rated a Level 2 autonomous system, meaning drivers must still keep both hands on the steering wheel at all times.
The tech enables the vehicle to accelerate and brake within the chosen lane. Full Self-Driving is nothing more than an upgraded version of Autopilot, giving vehicles the capability to obey traffic signals and change lanes without any driver input.
Level 5 autonomy means no human control or invention is necessary, though this tech does not exist yet. Level 3 is currently the highest legal rating possible, and Honda was the first manufacturer to achieve it officially.