The California Motor Vehicle Agency (DMV) is accusing Tesla of lying to consumers about its self-driving technologies, and has filed suit in a state administrative court, according to news reports released Friday. .
Tesla “has made or disseminated statements that are false or misleading, and not based on fact,” the DMV said in those July 28 complaints, the Los Angeles Times understands.
Tesla cars never could, “and today cannot, operate as autonomous vehicles,” according to the document cited by the California newspaper.
The DMV criticizes Tesla for advertising language that gives these systems broader performance than they actually have. Contacted by AFP, the DMV did not respond immediately.
A victory of the Californian authority against the manufacturer of electric vehicles could have severe consequences, going as far as the revocation of the licenses authorizing Tesla to manufacture or sell its cars in California, further indicates the LA Times, which specifies that the measures envisaged relate rather to the accuracy of the information that the manufacturer will have to provide to its customers.
273 accidents in the United States
In June, Tesla boss Elon Musk stressed the importance of fully self-driving to the company, adding that without it his company’s value would be “close to zero”.
Tesla shares were down sharply at the close of the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, falling 6.63% to $864.51.
Tesla vehicles equipped with self-driving software have been involved in 273 crashes in the United States, according to a June report from the US Highway Traffic Safety Agency (NHTSA), which is investigating the driver assistance system. from the American manufacturer.
His report focuses on vehicles with so-called level 2 software, meaning that can make the car accelerate or decelerate and turn the steering wheel if necessary, but requires an attentive driver who is ready to take control back at any time.
In total, Tesla models were the subject of nearly 70% of the reports of the 392 accidents listed in this category, for almost all between July 2021 and mid-May 2022, according to the NHTSA.