The Lemon Series: Tesla Autopilot

When it comes to being held accountable, leave it to the Germans to make it happen. The Tesla Autopilot System has underdelivered and overpromised the wrong crowd this time. While we in the US have gotten used to being lied to and promised a bill of goods that seems to be no more than a hope. Tesla has lost in the courts in Germany because of claims made that its Autopilot System would be much better than it is.

An Excellent System Mired by a Promise

The partially automated version of the Tesla Autopilot system is an excellent addition to the drive that you want to make. It’s even useful in Germany when it’s used correctly and equipped with the level of functionality that Tesla has already offered. Unfortunately, Tesla promised the Autopilot System would be at a Level 5 of fully autonomous driving by the end of 2019. This didn’t happen, in fact, the system remains at Level 2 to give drivers a helpful system, but not what was promised. This might be acceptable in the US, but a German court has declared that Tesla oversold the system and its functionality and ruled against Tesla.

The Tesla Autopilot Promise was an Impossibility

Not only wasn’t Tesla able to reach Level 5 of autonomous driving with the Tesla Autopilot system, but this level would also require fully autonomous driving which isn’t allowed in Germany at all. There’s nothing legal about a car that drives itself around town and on highways. There’s no official framework for self-driving cars which means Tesla should not have ever offered or promised a level of driving that’s not part of the framework in Germany. It seems the courts of Germany are trying to teach a lesson to Elon Musk and his car company.

Doing Things Differently in the US

Tesla is an American automotive company based in California. The CEO, Elon Musk, has made many promises and set a variety of goals for the production marks and delivery of different vehicles in the past. In only a few instances, Musk has met those goals. Most of the time, the timeframes come and go and we’re left wondering why Tesla hasn’t brought a new vehicle to our doorsteps. While the Tesla vehicles are interesting and certainly advanced, overpromising and underdelivering has become a habit and part of the expectation in the US, but that doesn’t work in Germany.

Germany Doesn’t Mess Around with the Tesla Autopilot System

While we wait to see how Tesla will respond to this lawsuit and ruling, it seems the company needs to change its plans for the Autopilot System to fit the market. German regulators take things very seriously and expect any company selling vehicles to follow the rules. While the Level 2 system is seriously helpful during driving, it doesn’t appear any claims should be made for Level 5 to be reached anytime soon. Overpromising and underdelivering have landed the Tesla Autopilot system on the Lemon Series List.