Bloomberg SAN FRANCISCO (Bloomberg) — Tesla Inc. is facing its first U.S. legal challenge over self-driving technology in a case alleging the electric carmaker sold 47,000 vehicles with Autopilot software that’s “dangerously defective” when engaged.
Drivers have “become beta testers of half-baked software that renders Tesla vehicles dangerous,” according to a complaint filed Wednesday in San Jose, Calif., federal court. Consumers allege their cars — purchased for $81,000 to $113,000 — sometimes veer out of lanes, “lurching, slamming on the brakes for no reason, and failing to slow or stop when approaching other vehicles” when Autopilot is activated.
The case was filed as a class action on behalf of Model S and Model X owners who bought their vehicles during the two quarters ending March 31. At least half of the 47,000 cars have second-generation Autopilot features that cost an extra $5,000 per car, according to the consumers, who claim their cars’ safety features are either non-functioning or unsafe to use. That’s contrary to marketing by Tesla that promised full functionality by December 2016, according to the complaint.