Tesla Germany must stop referring to its vehicles in adverts as potentially autonomous, a court has ruled. Buyers might be misled into thinking that completely self-driving cars were now legal on German roads, it said.
A German court on Tuesday banned Tesla from employing statements on the capabilities of its driver assistance system and autonomous driving in its advertising materials, with judges ruling that such claims could be dangerously misleading.
The ruling means the company must not use phrases such as "full potential for autonomous driving" and "autopilot inclusive" when promoting its vehicles, the higher state court in the southern city of Munich said.
In its ruling, which Tesla can appeal, the court said such advertising could make the impression that a car could drive without a human managing the controls and suggest that such systems were now legal on German roads.
The company says it has made it clear to customers that the automated driver assistance technology installed in its vehicles is not meant to completely replace the driver.
Critics say, however, that even at their current stage of development, such systems enabling a vehicle to drive more or less on its own for extended distances could already lead drivers to become negligent. Tesla's autopilot system has already come under fire from regulators who say it lacks safeguards.
Tesla's chief executive, Elon Musk, said this month that his company's cars were nearing the stage where no intervention from a human was necessary when they are on the road.
tj/stb (Reuters, AFP)