Tesla Inc update
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A few days after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched an investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot driverless technology, senior Democratic senators called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Tesla’s marketing practices.
Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Edward Markey of Massachusetts, both members of the Senate Commerce Committee, wrote to FTC Chairman Lina Khan on Wednesday, calling on the agency to start A formal investigation of Tesla and its founder, Elon Musk.
In the letter, they accused the automaker of exaggerating the capabilities of its vehicles, thereby endangering drivers who rely on automated functions such as autopilots to drive on the road.
The senators wrote: “Tesla and Mr. Musk have repeatedly exaggerated the capabilities of their vehicles—despite clear and frequent warnings—showing a deep concern for the safety of people on the road and the need for real accountability.” “Their statement puts Tesla drivers-and all the public traveling-at risk of serious injury or death.”
The FTC, which enforces antitrust rules and promotes consumer protection, declined to comment.
Two days ago, NHTSA under the U.S. Department of Transportation stated that it had launched an investigation into 11 accidents involving Tesla’s Autopilot driverless technology.
The agency stated that these collisions resulted in 17 injuries and 1 death. All vehicles turned on autopilot or traffic-sensing cruise control mode, and they occurred at the scene with driver warning signs such as cones and arrows.
News of the NHTSA investigation caused the automaker’s stock price to fall by more than 4% on Monday. After the senator made comments, Tesla shares rose nearly 3% on Wednesday morning.
Musk has repeatedly claimed that Tesla is close to achieving fully autonomous driving capabilities, even though its Autopilot software is just an advanced driver assistance system designed to handle road tasks such as maintaining speed or staying in the lane.
He had previously promised that by 2017, Tesla will be able to cross the United States without any driver intervention, and claimed that cars using Autopilot are 10 times more likely to crash than other cars.
The National Transportation Safety Board is an independent and independent regulatory agency. It has previously accused the regulator of adopting a “non-interfering regulatory approach” to Tesla and “posing a potential risk to motorists and other road users.”
Musk has also been criticized for naming this technology Autopilot, although it is only a so-called second-level driver assistance system, far less than the complete fifth-level, in which the car can drive automatically.
Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment.