Judge Orders Tesla to Face Charges

(RightWing.org) – Electric car maker Tesla will face charges in California. A judge has rejected the company’s attempt to dismiss charges that it misled customers about the self-driving features built into its cars. It’s just one of several legal challenges Tesla is facing over the technology.

In October 2016, Tesla announced that all its future cars would have “the hardware needed for full self-driving capability.” Several people who bought those cars say the company wasn’t telling the truth, and Tesla is facing multiple lawsuits as well as a federal investigation. One of those lawsuits will now be able to proceed to trial.

In 2017, California man Thomas LoSavio bought a Tesla Model S with the company’s “Enhanced Autopilot” and “Full Self-Driving Capability” features. Just five years later he decided the car wasn’t as described and in 2022 he filed a lawsuit against the company along with three other plaintiffs. A judge redirected the others into arbitration with Tesla, but LoSavio refused to take part and has been allowed to go ahead with suing the car maker for fraud. The case prompted the California Department of Motor Vehicles to launch its own case. On June 10, Judge Juliet Cox of California’s Office of Administrative Hearings ruled the company has to face the allegations in court.

Tesla also faces a federal investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has been probing the company’s self-driving technology for three years. The agency says there have been over 450 crashes involving Teslas, causing 14 deaths and 54 injuries.

If the self-driving technology is linked to a significant number of those it could turbocharge the various suits against Tesla, and lead to either massive damages or government restrictions on what technology it uses and how it describes it to customers. Tesla regularly reminds owners that even if their car is driving itself, its human operator needs to be fully alert.

Copyright 2024, RightWing.org