Skip to main content

Tesla is being sued over Autopilot and Elon Musk’s Full Self-Driving predictions

Tesla is being sued over Autopilot and Elon Musk’s Full Self-Driving predictions

/

Tesla owners have paid thousands of dollars for a feature that still isn’t ready yet.

Share this story

Illustration depicting multiple red Tesla sedans on a black background.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

A lawsuit filed in San Francisco by a Tesla owner claims the automaker and its CEO / Technoking Elon Musk are “deceptively and misleadingly” marketing the Autopilot and “Full Self-Driving” advanced driver assistance features that are available as paid software add-ons (via Automotive News).

The filing claims Tesla and Musk “deceived and misled consumers regarding the current abilities of its ADAS [advanced driver-assistance system] technology and by representing that it was perpetually on the cusp of perfecting that technology and finally fulfilling its promise of producing a fully self-driving car,” and that “contrary to Tesla’s repeated promises that it would have a fully self-driving car within months or a year, Tesla has never been remotely close to achieving that goal.”

The plaintiff, Briggs Matsko, says he spent $5,000 for the package in 2018, like many Tesla drivers who’ve paid thousands of dollars for Enhanced Autopilot. That was sold as a precursor to “Full Self-Driving” tech, a now $15,000 software add-on package that still isn’t ready to ship. Matsko is seeking class-action status for the lawsuit, while the company is already facing another class-action lawsuit targeting “phantom braking incidents” that have plagued the adaptive cruise control features on Teslas for years.

The lawsuit calls out Tesla’s features terminology, including the name “Autopilot,” as well as Elon Musk’s public statements and tweets regarding the perpetually unfinished Full Self-Driving system. It specifically mentions Musk’s claim that an autonomous US cross-country trip will be performed by 2018, and his 2019 claims about putting 1 million robotaxis on the road, saying, “A year from now, we’ll have over a million cars with full self-driving, software... everything.”

The road trip was eventually put on hold indefinitely, with Musk admitting that it would need a specialized route to work, and saying he preferred to have the Autopilot team focus on safety features. The robotaxis have not become a reality.

As for Full Self-Driving, the lawsuit backs its claims of fraud using this 2016 video released by Tesla — and still featured on its website — seemingly demonstrating a Model X leaving a garage, driving through a city, dropping off the “driver,” and then automatically finding a parallel parking spot to wedge itself into. Reportedly, former Tesla engineers that were there for the video’s production claimed the car used a pre-charted and 3D mapped route — technology that is not built into any production Tesla.

The lawsuit also makes the case that not only are Full Self-Driving and Autopilot misrepresented, but they’re also dangerous. It points to incidents like the 2018 crash where a Model X on Autopilot crashed into a concrete barrier in California, killing the driver, or another one where a Tesla on Autopilot crashed into the back of a stationary fire truck, prompting a federal investigation.

Matsko’s lawsuit says he’s looking for “injunctive relief prohibiting Tesla from continuing its deceptive and misleading marketing of its ADAS technology, restitution of the money Plaintiff and Class members paid for technology that Tesla promised but never delivered, and all available damages including punitive damages to punish Tesla for years of using deceptive and misleading marketing to eventually establish itself as a dominant player in the electric vehicle market.”

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Two hours ago Midjourneys

A
Youtube
Alex CranzTwo hours ago
After DART smashed into Dimorphos, I can’t stop thinking about the best “blow up an asteroid” story.

LucasArts and Steven Spielberg came up with The Dig, a game about an astronaut, scientist, and journalist blowing up an asteroid and finding a spaceship inside, and they did it years before Bruce Willis, or NASA. You can still buy and play it on Steam!


R
Instagram
Richard LawlerTwo hours ago
Everything looks better in slow motion.

Apple’s Dynamic Island alert system isn’t sitting still around your iPhone 14’s front-facing camera array. We’ve been enjoying its contextual animations — and even an Android copycat — since it was unveiled, but take a look at it here, captured at 240fps, to see exactly how iOS applies animations that make it feel a bit more lively.


R
External Link
Russell Brandom5:47 PM UTC
Oracle will pay $23 million to settle foreign bribery charges.

The SEC alleges that Oracle used a slush fund to bribe officials in India, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

This behavior is sadly common among software companies doing business overseas, and it’s not unique to Oracle. In March, a former Microsoft executive claimed the company spent as much as $200 million a year in bribes for foreign officials.


Asian America learns how to hit back

The desperate, confused, righteous campaign to stop Asian hate

Esther WangSep 26
E
External Link
Emma Roth3:16 PM UTC
Celsius’ CEO is out.

Alex Mashinsky, the head of the bankrupt crypto lending firm Celsius, announced his resignation today, but not after patting himself on the back for working “tirelessly to help the company.”

In Mashinsky’s eyes, I guess that means designing “Unbankrupt yourself” t-shirts on Cafepress and then selling them to a user base that just had their funds vaporized.

At least customers of the embattled Voyager Digital crypto firm are in slightly better shape, as the Sam Bankman-Fried-owned FTX just bought out the company’s assets.


M
Twitter
Mary Beth Griggs2:46 PM UTC
NASA’s SLS rocket is secure as Hurricane Ian barrels towards Florida.

The rocket — and the Orion spacecraft on top — are now back inside the massive Vehicle Assembly Building. Facing menacing forecasts, NASA decided to roll it away from the launchpad yesterday.


A
External Link
Andrew J. Hawkins1:30 PM UTC
Harley-Davidson’s electric motorcycle brand is about to go public via SPAC

LiveWire has completed its merger with a blank-check company and will make its debut on the New York Stock Exchange today. Harley-Davison CEO Jochen Zeitz called it “a proud and exciting milestone for LiveWire towards its ambition to become the most desirable electric motorcycle brand in the world.” Hopefully it also manages to avoid the cash crunch of other EV SPACs, like Canoo, Arrival, Faraday Future, and Lordstown.


A
The Verge
Andrew Webster1:06 PM UTC
“There’s an endless array of drama going on surrounding Twitch right now.”

That’s Ryan Morrison, CEO of Evolved Talent Agency, which represents some of the biggest streamers around. And he’s right — as you can read in this investigation from my colleague Ash Parrish, who looked into just what’s going on with Amazon’s livestreaming service.


R
The Verge
Richard Lawler12:59 PM UTC
Green light.

NASA’s spacecraft crashed, and everyone is very happy about it.

Otherwise, Mitchell Clark is kicking off the day with a deeper look at Dish Network’s definitely-real 5G wireless service , and Walmart’s metaverse vision in Roblox is not looking good at all.


J
External Link
Jess Weatherbed11:49 AM UTC
Won’t anyone think of the billionaires?

Forbes reports that rising inflation and falling stock prices have collectively cost members of the Forbes 400 US rich list $500 billion in 2022 with tech tycoons suffering the biggest losses.

Jeff Bezos (worth $151 billion) lost $50 billion, Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin (worth a collective $182b) lost almost $60b, Mark Zuckerberg (worth $57.7b) lost $76.8b, and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey (worth $4.5b) lost $10.4b. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (worth $83b) lost $13.5b while his ex-boss Bill Gates (worth $106b) lost $28b, albeit $20b of that via charity donations.