In late March 2017 Hagens Berman, a law firm from Seattle, decided to organize a lawsuit campaign against Tesla car company appealing to those owners of autonomous vehicles who had already bought the company’s new technology Autopilot 2. The firm insists such drivers can get part of their money back as Tesla’s promise to provide these customers with a fully driverless vehicle was never executed. The lawyers have conducted their own investigation and now claim that Tesla corporation lies.
This firm of professional lawyers is well known for its class action lawsuit of the previous year, when another car giant, Volkswagen, was accused of serious cheating that helped the company’s cars show great environment-friendly results, but in fact the reason was that a special cheating software had been used.
On its hand, Tesla appeals to look at the company’s website and the AP2 order page, where it is stated that the company won’t provide all self-driving elements immediately. On the contrary, it plans to enhance and improve their software and supply the purchased cars with new functions, for example, through updates.
In October 2016, however, there was an announcement made by Elon Musk. In his speech Tesla CEO made a rather unambiguous statement saying that the company’s new models (S, X and Model 3 in perspective) were going to have hardware elements of a self-driving vehicle. He even promised to organize a fully autonomous ride from California to New York somewhere in late 2017 to demonstrate the unprecedented features and capabilities of Tesla’s self-driving vehicles.
Meanwhile, the company still needs to wait for some road regulations that will allow such cars drive fully autonomously. Right now the new version of Tesla’s Autopilot is the technology that has just a few new or enhanced features, among which is a lane changing feature that would not need any driver’s help. Right now the Autopilot unit includes such abilities as cruise control, an alarm system that warns on any possible crash with another vehicle and the Autosteer feature. The company has made it clear that if a car owner does not want to pay as much as $8,000 for the system at the moment, it will cost him far more later. Moreover, to simply enhance the Autopilot version will cost $5,000.
The thing that makes the Seattle law firm so strict in their allegations is that Tesla company in fact offered a premium-package Autopilot to its customers promising to provide those features that were still unavailable at that moment. So, it turns out that people kept buying Tesla self-driving cars believing they are fully autonomous, but in fact it was a lie.
Today Tesla keeps on insisting that all the information about the technology availability can be found at the company’s webpage. The car technology maker says the customers will definitely get a fully autonomous system, though the terms are unclear yet.
Today followed by a number of appeals not to mislead customers, Tesla removes the term “self-driving” from a number of its international products and has to warn its customers that a hands-free driving mode can be dangerous and fatal for them.