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Tesla Targeted by Hagens Berman for Autopilot Claims
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Summary: Hagens Berman claims that Tesla is misleading consumers, so they are exploring the possibility of a class action lawsuit.

Hagens Berman is working on putting together a class action lawsuit against Telsa for misleading consumers about the self-driving capabilities. Electrek first spotted a flaw in Autopilot 2 with Hagens Berman following up by pitching a class action to the vehicle owners.


On Hagens Berman’s website, they ask Tesla owners, “Did you pay a premium for Tesla’s Autopilot 2 (AP2) safety features? You may be entitled to a refund.” The page continues, “Hagens Berman believes that consumers have the right to reimbursement for the premium price they paid for what they thought was a ‘full self-driving’ automobile. According to the firm’s investigation, Tesla charged consumers high prices for vehicles that it claimed had ‘full self-driving capability.’ Those claims now appear to be false.”

Their claim notes that Tesla consumers can choose to buy the Full Self-Driving Capability with Enhanced Autopilot or just Enhanced Autopilot. The Enhanced Autopilot software has “begun rolling out and features will continue to be introduced as validation is completed, subject to regulatory approval.” The capabilities are “dependent on extensive software validation and regulatory approval, which may vary by jurisdiction.”

The order continues, “It is not possible to know exactly when each element of the functionality described above will be available.”

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in October that vehicles being produced now, including Model S, Model X, and Model 3, are built with hardware to enable the vehicles to be fully driverless. By the end of 2017, a Tesla vehicle will drive itself from Los Angeles to New York to prove its technological capabilities. Even though the cars will have the ability to drive itself, owners will have to wait until regulations allow them to use the feature. Until the meantime, owners can use Enhanced Autopilot, which has the same features are previous versions but can also change lanes and merge on and off highways without the driver’s input.

The full self-driving system cost $8,000 at the time of purchase. Purchasing only the Enhanced Autopilot feature cost $5,000. Those that opt to unlock the top features at a later time will pay more. For example, purchasing the system after purchasing the vehicle will cost $10,000.

The law firm claims that Tesla is misleading consumers by “marketing and selling the new AP2 feature for a $10,000 premium since October 2016.” The automaker claims the feature comes with full self-driving capabilities plus safety features like “automatic emergency braking, collision warnings, lane holding and active cruise control” even though they are not available.

Tesla owners are choosing to pay $10,000 for the full self-driving feature. Tesla’s webpage states, “Please note that Self-Driving functionality is dependent on extensive software validation and regulatory approval, which may vary widely by jurisdiction.” Tesla claims the Enhanced Autopilot features will become available over time but have been unclear about when. “Tesla’s Enhanced Autopilot software has begun rolling out and features will continue to be introduced as validation is completed, subject to regulatory approval,” reads their website.

Their claims are receiving criticism for stating the cars have capabilities that they don’t yet have. Consumer Reports required Tesla to disable the hands-free feature because owners were under the assumption that the car could handle certain situations that it actually couldn’t. Now when the driver removes their hands while Autopilot is activated, a warning signal rings.

Hagens Berman is already leading a class action lawsuit against Volkswagen’s emissions-cheating software.

Do you think Tesla’s claim is misleading? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about another carmaker facing legal problems, read these articles:




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