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Brand new Tesla vehicles are parked in the parking lot of the Tesla showroom in Corte Madera, California, on June 27, 2022.

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The California Department of Motor Vehicles has accused Tesla of deceptive practices in the marketing of its driver-assistance systems, known in the U.S. as Autopilot and Full Self-Driving, according to documents filed with state executives.

Elon Musk’s electric vehicle business risks more than its reputation — in a worst-case scenario, the company could temporarily lose a license that allows it to operate as an automaker and car dealer in California.

in a right July 28 filing A DMV officer and attorney wrote in the California Office of Administrative Hearings:

“These ‘Autopilot’ and ‘Fully Self-Driving Capability’ labels and descriptions do not simply identify a product or brand name, but represent that vehicles equipped with ADAS capabilities will operate as autonomous vehicles, but vehicles equipped with these ADAS capabilities cannot The age of advertising, which cannot operate as a self-driving car right now.”

Anita Gore, deputy director of the California DMV’s Office of Public Affairs, told CNBC via email that if the department wins, it “will require Tesla to advertise to consumers and better educate Tesla drivers about its ‘”automatic” Driving” and “Fully Autonomous Driving” features, including cautionary warnings about functional limitations, and other appropriate actions for violations.”

Gore noted that the action is only related to Tesla’s marketing and advertising practices around Autopilot and FSD. The California DMV is conducting a separate safety review of “the intended design and technical capabilities of Tesla vehicles” to determine whether they can be used on public roads without a special permit.

Gore said the DMV wants to prevent drivers from misunderstanding and misusing new vehicle technology.

This los angeles times The DMV’s filing with the administrative agency was previously reported.

Tesla has 15 days to respond to the allegations in Administrative Court or the DMV will make a default decision.

Tesla includes its Autopilot driver-assist feature in all of its newly built cars, and sells a premium FSD (or Full Self-Driving) option for $12,000 upfront or a $199 monthly subscription. Occasionally, the company sells an enhanced autopilot option that includes some advanced features.

Elon Musk’s electric car maker is also allowing drivers to test unfinished driver-assist features on U.S. public roads through a program called the FSD Beta (or Full Self Driving Beta).

Only Tesla owners who have the company’s advanced FSD system installed can participate in the FSD Beta. Owners must earn a high driver safety score, which is determined by the Tesla software that monitors their driving, and then maintain that score to continue using the FSD Beta.The company says it has rolled out FSD Beta access to more than 100,000 drivers, most of them in the U.S.

Automakers, including Tesla, must now report major crashes involving advanced driver-assistance systems to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Between June 2021 and July 2022, Tesla vehicles accounted for about 70 percent, or more than 270, of reported crashes involving these systems, according to federal data released in early July. The data is not meant to indicate which automaker’s system is likely to be the safest.

NHTSA has also opened at least 37 special crash investigations into crashes involving Tesla vehicles in which Tesla’s driver-assistance system is believed to be a factor. The collisions sparked an NHTSA special collision investigation that resulted in at least 17 deaths.

NHTSA also evaluated Tesla’s Autopilot technology to see if it was defective and warranted a recall following a series of crashes involving Tesla vehicles in which they collided with stationary emergency vehicles. rescue vehicle.

Read California DMV’s Official Charge Against Tesla here and here.

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