German justice rules misleading advertisement for Tesla's autopilot
Steph Deschamps / July 15, 2020
German justice ruled on Tuesday that Tesla was deceiving consumers by praising the concept of "autopilot" fitted to its vehicles, supporting an association which sued the American manufacturer.
At the heart of the dispute, the description on the Tesla German site of the driving assistance system for a production vehicle, presented as an "autopilot" with the possibility of "full potential for autonomous driving" if the customer orders certain additional modules.
In this presentation dating from 2019 for the "Model 3", Tesla also promises "automatic driving in urban areas ... by the end of the year" last.
These advertisements "constitute deceptive commercial acts", judged the room of the court of Munich specialized in the right of the marks and the competition, which had been seized by the German Office of fight against the unfair competition.
The term "autopilot" suggests that Tesla offers vehicles that are technically capable of driving without human intervention, which is not the case in reality, the court said.
While this judgment is likely to be challenged on appeal, the applicant's lawyer, Andreas Ottofülling, spoke of a "stage victory", according to a press release.
Autonomous vehicles are not yet authorized to run in Germany, Tesla "must respect the rules of the game and must not make false advertising promises", he added.