Tesla is Lying About its Autopilot and Self-Driving Features: California DMV

Advertisements on the EV maker's website were misleading, according to the agency.

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Tesla’s autopilot and self-driving claims are getting investigated yet again, and this time the California Department of Motor Vehicles is leading the charge. That’s according to a complaint that was filed at the end of July.

To summarize the complaint, California’s DMV says Tesla made “untrue and misleading” statements on its website by claiming vehicles were – or could be – equipped with advanced driver assistance system features. Because of those false advertisements, Tesla has been warned it could temporarily lose its manufacturing license and special plate numbers in California


CNN reports that the advertisements ran on Tesla’s website “on at least five dates” between May 2021 and July 2022.

[The advertisements] included descriptions such as “Autopilot” and “Full Self-Driving Capability” and used such wording as “All you will need to do is get in and tell your car where to go...Your Tesla will figure out the optimal route, navigating urban streets, complex intersections and freeways,” the suit said.

Another claim that the California DMV alleged was misleading said, “The system is designed to be able to conduct short and long-distance trips with no action required by the person in the driver’s seat.”

“These advertisements are a deceptive practice” under California’s Civil Code, the DMV complaint said.


So yeah, uh, none of Tesla’s claims are accurate, and definitely lean towards a lie. It’s easy to tell just by basing it on the fact a Tesla cannot perform any of those claims.

The report from CNN does say that the company has published disclaimers as recently as June warning the features still require active driver supervision. That obviously contradicts what Tesla had previously stated on its site.


We’ve previously reported a study from the NHTSA that found Teslas using driver-assist technology were involved in 273 crashes over a 9-month period. That’s over 70 percent of the total crashes reported. 43 percent of those Tesla-involved crashes took place in California.

Tesla now has 15 days to respond to the complaint.