Court Bans Tesla’s Autopilot Advertisement

“Autopilot included” or “automatic urban driving” by the end of 2019 – these slogans were misleading, a court has now decided. The accusation: the announcements were not fulfilled.

Tesla cars in Shanghai

Dhe district court Munich I has banned Tesla advertising about the manufacturer’s “autopilot”. Statements such as “autopilot included”, “full potential for autonomous driving” or a slogan that suggested that “automatic urban driving” would be possible by the end of 2019 were prohibited. This was announced by the competition headquarters as the plaintiff on Tuesday.

The self-regulatory body of the German economy takes action against unfair competition and saw the advertising as misleading. The court confirmed the view that the impression had been created that the cars would be technically and legally capable of driving autonomously by the end of 2019, the competition headquarters said. These announcements were not fulfilled, however, some of the functions are not even allowed in road traffic. The customer does not get the car that Tesla advertised.

The judgment is not yet final

“Since autopiloted and autonomous driving at level 5 is neither legally permitted nor technically possible for the vehicle in question, Tesla must also adhere to the rules of the game and must not make false advertising promises,” said Andreas Ottofülling, attorney at the competition headquarters after the announcement with. Tesla initially did not respond to a request for comment. Before the verdict, it was speculated whether the manufacturer would appeal.

The Tesla lawyers had argued that the cars could technically keep the advertising promises. Customers were also made aware of restrictions under the advertising: “The functions currently activated require active monitoring by the driver – autonomous operation is therefore not possible.”

The verdict is not yet legally binding. The competition center first wants to check the reasons for the judgment before deciding whether to deposit 100,000 euros as security. Then the sentence could be carried out immediately.

According to its own statements, the competition center does not receive any public funding and is supported by more than 1200 companies and 800 chambers and associations. Many German car manufacturers and the Association of the Automotive Industry are also members of the organization, but Tesla is not.