tesla side repeater camera

Tesla lands in hot water with U.S. Justice Dept. over driver assistance claims

(Credit: Tesla)

Tesla and its claims about its self-driving developments have landed the company in hot water with the U.S. Justice Department, as the agency is now opening a probe into whether the company committed securities or wire fraud by misleading consumers and investors.

Reuters said in an exclusive report that investigators are “exploring whether Tesla committed wire fraud, which involves deception in interstate communications, by misleading consumers about its driver-assistance systems.”

Tesla has never said that its vehicles are capable of full autonomy, which means that a vehicle operator could sleep while the car is in motion.

However, the Justice Department believes that some of the claims Tesla has made about its Full Self-Driving suite could constitute securities or wire fraud. It is currently being labeled as a probe, which means there is no evidence of wrongdoing. The probe could result in three different outcomes: criminal charges, civil sanctions, or absolutely nothing at all.

Specific statements made by Tesla or its executives that could be a part of the investigation were not currently available or identified.

It is not the only investigation that is ongoing regarding Tesla’s claims about self-driving, as the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, is also reportedly looking into statements made regarding the capabilities.

There is no specific roadmap for how to proceed with the current investigation, as the Justice Department is still sifting through a high volume of documents that Tesla provided in response to subpoenas.

Tesla’s claims regarding the FSD suite have always hinted that they will eventually be able to solve self-driving, but the timing has always been where the true issue is. Every year, it seems Tesla is ready to claim that it will solve FSD by the end of the year, but it still is far from actually offering a fully autonomous driving suite.

Now, the company is prepared to unveil a dedicated Robotaxi platform on August 8, which brings another factor into this entire story.

There are so many layers to Tesla’s Full Self-Driving and the investigations surrounding it.

As we reported last week, the NHTSA is attempting to figure out what a December recall rolled out by the automaker solved, as Tesla said it would increase safeguards to keep drivers attentive.

Tesla Autopilot investigation closed by NHTSA — but now a recall query looms

Yesterday, we reported the agency is now asking Tesla what exactly the recall did.

I’d love to hear from you! If you have any comments, concerns, or questions, please email me at joey@teslarati.com. You can also reach me on Twitter @KlenderJoey, or if you have news tips, you can email us at tips@teslarati.com.

Tesla lands in hot water with U.S. Justice Dept. over driver assistance claims
To Top