Another accident of Tesla's autopilot auto Model S sedan in Utah

Tesla settles class action suit over Autopilot claims for $5M		
		
	Devin Coldewey

       @	   
   	10 hours

The groups said Tesla's marketing and advertising of its Autopilot feature violate FTC regulations because it is likely to mislead customers into reasonably believing that their vehicles have self-driving or autonomous capabilities.

It is notable that Tesla has refused to agree to one of the seemingly reasonable requests of the plaintiffs - that it reimburse them the cost of the system - another pointer that the company is rapidly running out of money.

Tesla says it has updated the autopilot hardware since unveiling it in 2016, but acknowledged the features have taken longer to gain traction.

Class members, who paid an extra $5,000 to get the Autopilot upgrade between 2016 and 2017, will receive between $20 and $280 in compensation.

The case was closely watched in the automotive and legal communities, as it was the only known court challenge Tesla faced with regard to its assisted-driving technology. Tesla says the system is not created to avoid a collision and warns drivers not to rely on it entirely.

On Wednesday, two USA consumer advocacy groups also urged the Federal Trade Commission to investigate what they called Tesla's "deceptive and misleading" use of the name Autopilot for its assisted-driving technology.

The Elon Musk-led company said Lommatzsch had "engaged Autosteer and Traffic Aware Cruise Control on multiple occasions" and "repeatedly cancelled and then re-engaged these features" while travelling on the highway.

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The case, which was filed in 2017, initially involved six owners of Tesla Model S and Model X cars in Colorado, Florida, New Jersey and California.

They said the system was unsafe to use as it brakes unexpectedly for no reason and fails to brake when approaching large vehicles, such as trucks and buses.

The driver of a Tesla electric auto that hit a Utah fire department vehicle over the weekend says the car's semi-autonomous Autopilot mode was engaged at the time of the crash.

Data from the Model S show it picked up speed for 3.5 seconds before crashing into the firetruck in suburban Salt Lake City, the report said. Moreover, the vehicle's logs revealed that the Model X issued a number of alerts to the driver in the seconds preceding the crash, essentially instructing him to resume control of the auto. The acceleration from 55 miles per hour to 60 miles per hour suggests that the Tesla had been following a slower vehicle that then moved out of the way, allowing the Tesla to resume the higher speed that the Autopilot system had been set at.

The police report, which was obtained Thursday through an open records request, provides detail about the vehicle's actions immediately before the May 11 crash and the driver's familiarity with its system. She told police she was looking at her phone and comparing different routes to her destination.

Although the vehicle's driver, Heather Lommatzsch, 29, tried to brake manually at the last second, it was not enough to prevent the auto from rear-ending the fire truck.

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