It’s no secret that the Tesla Autopilot functionality causes a bit of a stir. Though it is mainly safe and free from significant faults, there is certainly no shortage of documentation showing it falling dramatically. Now, the legendary EV manufacturer is in legal trouble in Germany thanks to a customer complaint about the reliability of the autopilot system. Check out the details of this Tesla lawsuit overseas.
Tesla Autopilot was “unreliable” and kept making the car brake, says the lawsuit
According to Business Insider, a German woman took Tesla to court over the faulty Autopilot system in her Tesla Model X. The woman reports that the Tesla would randomly brake on its own when driving in Munich traffic. Additionally, she reported that the Tesla often failed to detect obstacles on the road.
If you’re familiar with the lore surrounding Tesla’s Autopilot issues, this will likely sound familiar. In the U.S., the NHTSA has an ongoing investigation into Tesla for Autopilot issues. There are over 400,000 reports of phantom braking wherein Tesla vehicles randomly apply the brakes when autopilot is in use. Additionally, there’s no shortage of examples of Tesla vehicles failing to detect objects in the road.
Ultimately, the German court upheld the woman’s claims that the system was faulty. As many would agree, the German court labeled the faulty braking system as a “massive danger” in city traffic. Certainly, a car suddenly stopping in front of you in heavy traffic could cause a lot of calamity.
In addition to the Autopilot side of the lawsuit, the woman reported a multitude of quality control defects with her Model X as well. She reports that the doors fail to close properly. Again, this is certainly not the first instance of customer complaints about Tesla’s quality control.
In the end, this Tesla lawsuit will cost the company over $100,000. Insider reports that the court ordered Tesla to pay $101,000 plus five percent interest. In addition, the company must pay 80% of her legal fees associated with the lawsuit.
Could U.S. lawsuits against Tesla be on the horizon?
Certainly, this woman’s lawsuit win could influence others having the same issue to file lawsuits against the company. In fact, Chimicles law group already has a class action suit for 2021 and 2022 Tesla Model 3 and Model S owners. That lawsuit states that some Tesla vehicles apply brakes when a semi-truck in an oncoming lane is about to pass. The report states that phantom braking can randomly slow the vehicle from 75 to 40 mph for no apparent reason.
However, this lawsuit specifically calls for Model 3 and Model S owners, So there’s a possibility that owners of other Tesla vehicles like the Model X may form their own lawsuit in the U.S. if they are experiencing similar problems.
In 2021, Tesla delivered nearly one million vehicles, which was a record-setting milestone for the company. However, the NHTSA investigation covering over 40 percent of those vehicles does not exactly shed a good light on the Tesla Autopilot system. Hopefully, it’s just a matter of software corrections, and Tesla engineers are on top of it.
That being said, with Tesla laying off over 200 Autopilot employees, things aren’t looking that great. For more information on those layoffs, keep scrolling down!