(New York) The US Department of Justice has opened an investigation into the driver assistance systems offered by Tesla, Elon Musk’s group confirmed in a stock market filing on Tuesday.
“The company has received requests from the ministry for documents related to the Autopilot tools and FSD from Tesla ”, which help, for example, to change lanes on the highway, to park or to identify Stop signs, it is written.
The group does not specify what exactly the requests are about. But according to press reports, the ministry is examining the extent to which Tesla’s claims about the capabilities of its driver assistance systems may lead motorists to a false sense of security.
The company’s marketing is regularly questioned by the authorities.
The group officially states on its website that the “Autopilot” and “Fully autonomous driving capability” options (FSD capabilities in English), “are designed for use by an alert driver with his hands on the wheel and who is ready to regain control of his vehicle at any time”.
But the company and its boss also regularly highlight the progress made by its software.
The boss of the American agency responsible for investigating transport accidents (NTSB), Jennifer Homendy, denounced in October 2021 the use of the term “fully autonomous driving” as “misleading” in an interview on the CNBC channel.
California’s responsible motor vehicle agency (DMV) in a lawsuit filed in the summer of 2022 blamed the group for advertising language that gives these systems broader performance than they actually have.
According to Bloomberg, the US Financial Markets Authority has also opened an investigation for similar reasons.
The American Highway Safety Agency (NHTSA) is investigating the American manufacturer’s driver assistance systems as such, involved in several incidents.
“To our knowledge, no government agency has concluded through an ongoing investigation that any wrongdoing has occurred,” Tesla said in the stock market filing on Tuesday.