German Court Allows Tesla to Continue Autopilot and Autonomous Driving Advertising

 German Court Allows Tesla to Continue Autopilot and Autonomous Driving Advertising

Tesla may continue to advertise the capabilities of its driver assistance system and autonomous driving in Germany after a judge dismissed a challenge against the practice. The so-called non-admissibility case was filed with Germany's Federal Court of Justice by the Wettbewerbszentrale, an industry-sponsored organization entrusted with police anti-competitive activities.

According to a court spokeswoman, the lawsuit was dismissed on July 28, enabling Tesla to continue using the terms "full potential for autonomous driving" and "Autopilot comprehensive" in its German advertising materials.

The rejection was originally reported by the industry journal Teslamag earlier this week.

The Wettbewerbszentrale case was filed in response to a judgement by the higher regional court in Munich in October 2021 that upheld Tesla's appeal of an earlier verdict by a lower district court that forbade the use of the terms.

Earlier this month, a California state transportation authority accused Tesla of falsely promoting its Autopilot and Full Self-Driving technologies as enabling autonomous car control.

According to a letter obtained by Reuters, two US lawmakers who chair subcommittees overseeing auto safety asked the federal auto safety regulator for a briefing on its investigations into crashes involving Tesla electric vehicles equipped with Autopilot and advanced driver assistance systems last week.

In a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), US Senator Gary Peters and Representative Jan Schakowsky, both Democrats, expressed concern that "government investigations and recent reporting have identified grave safety vulnerabilities" at Tesla.

"Given the increasing number of deaths involving Tesla vehicles colliding into tractor trailers...has NHTSA considered starting a defect inquiry into this issue?" the legislators questioned.

"Does NHTSA strike a balance between investigation thoroughness and addressing urgent, emergent concerns to motor vehicle safety?" the letter asked. and if the government has the necessary resources and legal power to conduct a thorough investigation of advanced driver assistance technologies.

The NHTSA did not respond promptly. NHTSA Administrator Steve Cliff told Reuters in July that he intended to finish the probe into Tesla's sophisticated driver aid system Autopilot "as soon as possible, but I also want to do it right. We have a large amount of material to sort through."


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