The U.S. Justice Department has opened an investigation into Tesla’s driver assistance features, the company said in a financial document Tuesday.
The filing comes amid an ongoing review by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the electric car maker’s “Autopilot” system.
“The company has received requests from the DOJ for documents related to Tesla’s Autopilot and FSD (fully self-driving) features,” the Securities and Exchange Commission said Tuesday.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has regularly promised that a fully autonomous vehicle is at the doorstep, but his cars still only have “driver assistance” – which helps drivers change lanes or recognize stop signs – and not full autonomy that allows drivers can drive. look away from the road.
The company didn’t say exactly what the requests were, but according to media reports, the department is investigating whether Tesla’s claims about the reliability of its driver assistance systems could give drivers a false sense of security.
This isn’t the first time Tesla’s public marketing statements have come under regulatory scrutiny.
On its website, Tesla says its Autopilot and Full Self Driving Capability options “require a fully attentive driver, hands on the wheel and willing to take over at any time.”
But Jennifer Homendy, chair of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), told CNBC in 2021 that using the term “fully self-driving” is “misleading.”
And the California Department of Motor Vehicles filed a complaint against the company last year for using advertising language that makes its products appear more capable than they are.
According to a Bloomberg report, the Justice Department’s investigation has been opened for similar reasons.
NHTSA’s probe includes investigations into several safety incidents related to the driver assistance systems.
“To the best of our knowledge, no government agency in any ongoing investigation has found wrongdoing,” Tesla said in its filing Tuesday.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by DailyExpertNews staff and is being published from a syndicated feed.)
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