Tesla under investigation in California over Autopilot safety issues and false advertising

Tesla is facing a new investigation with the California attorney general’s office looking into safety issues with the company’s Autopilot feature as well as its marketing practices, CNBC reported on Wednesday.

The outlet was tipped off to the investigation by Tesla owner Greg Wester, who California Attorney General Rob Bonta’s office called to ask about his August 2022 Federal Trade Commission complaint about his Tesla’s “phantom braking” problem and what he believed to be misleading claims around the company’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) system.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s claims about his cars’ fully driverless capabilities date back to 2016 when he said all new Tesla EVs would have the necessary hardware for it. In fact, the company has dragged its feet on it for so long that it’s now giving drivers a “one-time” transfer of their purchased upgrade to their next EV from the company.

The company is being sued in California by owners complaining about “phantom braking” — alleging Tesla’s cars will abruptly brake while in Autopilot mode for seemingly no reason at all. In China, thousands of the company’s cars are being recalled for the same reason. And in the US, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has begun its own investigation of the car’s strange alleged braking behaviors.

Attorney General Bonta’s office declined to confirm or deny the investigation.

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