Tesla’s Autopilot Described As ‘Demonstrably Dangerous’ In New Lawsuit

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Tesla touts its Autopilot feature as being among the most advanced in the automotive industry. But the technology might not be nearly as good — or as safe — as advertised.

A lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., alleges Autopilot is dangerously flawed, and hasn’t been improved as soon as promised, according to USA TODAY. The suit, which was filed on behalf of three Tesla owners, seeks class-action status.

“Autopilot capabilities that consumers paid $5,000 extra to obtain are anything but ‘safer’ and ‘stress free,’ ” the lawsuit alleges, via USA TODAY. “Many owners report the Autopilot is essentially unusable and demonstrably dangerous.”

In a response, Tesla dismissed the suit as a “disingenuous attempt to secure attorney’s fees posing as a legitimate legal action,” according to USA TODAY.

Tesla has said development of self-driving technology is ongoing, and it will incrementally introduce new features via over-the-air software updates. But the suit reportedly claims the current features don’t live up to their billing, and that others such as automatic braking and collision avoidance didn’t come through when expected. Instead, according to the suit, owners were given a Traffic Aware Cruise Control system that’s “dangerously defective.”

“We have always been transparent about the fact that Enhanced Autopilot software is a product that would roll out incrementally over time,” Tesla said in a statement, via USA TODAY, “and that features would continue to be introduced as validation is completed, subject to regulatory approval.”

Despite multiple reported issues with Autopilot, as well as this new lawsuit, Tesla hasn’t struggled to attract investors. The electric automaker recently leapfrogged Ford and General Motors to be come the U.S.’ most valuable automaker, in terms of market capitalization.

Thumbnail photo via Tesla

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