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Feds open criminal investigation into Tesla Autopilot claims

DoJ prosecutors want to know if Tesla misled customers, investors, regulators.



Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson | Tesla | Airplane!)

Tesla’s controversial Autopilot driver assist might have just gotten even more controversial. According to Reuters, the company has been under federal criminal investigation since 2021 for misleading people about Autopilot’s capabilities. It’s the latest in a string of state and federal investigations, coming at a time when the automaker is removing more sensors from the cars while increasing the price of its “full self-driving” (FSD) feature.

The safety of Tesla’s electric vehicles has been repeatedly extolled by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who claimed his EVs are the safest cars on sale. However, those claims have been challenged by regulators such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as well as by collated crash data.

Now, Reuters reports that “Justice Department prosecutors in Washington and San Francisco are examining whether Tesla misled consumers, investors and regulators by making unsupported claims about its driver assistance technology’s capabilities,” the sources said.

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