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Tesla Must Reimburse German Owner After Court Rules Autopilot Could Pose “Massive Danger”



A court in Munich, Germany has ruled that Tesla must reimburse the owner of a Model X because of problems with the Autopilot system. The automaker will have to refund the owner most of her €112,000 ($113,033 USD at current exchange rates) purchase price.

The court reached its decision after receiving a technical report that found that Autopilot does not reliably detect obstacles like lanes that narrow for a construction site, reports Der Spiegel. Vehicles using the system were also found to brake unnecessarily, a problem that has become all too common in the United States as well.

The court decided that this could pose a “massive danger” on the road and lead to rear-end collisions, especially in inner cities. Tesla‘s lawyers, meanwhile, argued that Autopilot was not intended for city traffic.

Read Also: NHTSA Has Received More Than 750 Complaints Of Phantom Braking In Teslas

The court did not find this line of reasoning persuasive, though. It reasoned that if drivers were required to manually turn Autopilot on and off for highway, country, and city driving scenarios, this could be a distraction.

“Once again, it turns out that Tesla does not keep the full-bodied promise when it comes to Autopilot,” said the plaintiff’s lawyer Christoph Lindner.

The decision is just the latest blow faced by Tesla’s advanced driver assistance technologies. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, America’s federal regulator, is investigating Autopilot following a number of crashes, and has received hundreds of complaints of “phantom braking,” in which a vehicle’s automatic braking system trips for no reason, in recent months.

Still, the company’s CEO, Elon Musk, said that Tesla was likely to launch a new version of Full Self-Driving, its even more advanced ADAS system, later this year in Europe. He admitted, though, that Europe’s varying road conditions and rules made it tricky to roll out there, per Reuters.



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