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Tesla to reimburse customer in Germany whose vehicle had Autopilot malfunctions

Credit: Tesla

Tesla is being ordered to reimburse an owner whose vehicle had malfunctions when operating the Autopilot function in Germany. A court in Munich ruled the electric automaker must repay a customer for most of the Model X that she bought, amounting to $112,884.80, or 112,000 euros.

The vehicle underwent a technical analysis, which proved the vehicle could not recognize and identify obstacles on the road, especially the narrowing of a road in a construction zone and phantom braking issues. The court said these issues could lead to a collision and were a “massive hazard” in highly populated areas, according to Der Spiegel, who first reported the ruling.

Attorneys for Tesla pushed against the ruling by stating Autopilot was not designed for city traffic, but the court ruled drivers should not have to switch the feature on and off manually because it could cause them to become distracted while driving.

Tesla Autopilot differs from the company’s Full Self-Driving suite in several ways. Basic Autopilot is included on all Tesla vehicles and includes Traffic-Aware Cruise Control and Lane Keeping. Enhanced Autopilot, which was just made available in the United States once again, includes Navigate on Autopilot, Auto Lane Change, Autopark, Summon, and Smart Summon. The Full Self-Driving suite includes all previously mentioned features, plus Traffic and Stop Sign Control, and will soon feature Autosteer on City Streets.

Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Beta program is not yet available in Europe, but the automaker plans to launch it on the continent later this year. Musk has maintained for several years that it is important to get road rules in other countries correct, as it is complicated to shift the software to different road rules in different regions. “It’s quite difficult to do full self-driving in Europe,” CEO Elon Musk said earlier this year when Gigafactory Berlin opened.

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Tesla to reimburse customer in Germany whose vehicle had Autopilot malfunctions
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