Two US senators demanded that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigate Tesla (TSLA.O), claiming that the manufacturer misled consumers and put the public at risk by selling its driving automation technologies as fully self-driving.
“Tesla and (CEO) Mr. (Elon) Musk’s repeated overstatements of their vehicle’s capabilities … put Tesla drivers – and all of the traveling public – at risk of serious injury or death,” Senate Democrats Richard Blumenthal and Edward Markey said in a letter to FTC Chair Lina Khan.
“Tesla drivers listen to these claims and believe their vehicles are equipped to drive themselves – with potentially deadly consequences.”
On Wednesday, an FTC spokesman confirmed that the agency had received the letter, but declined to comment further.
The letter adds to the pressure on Tesla, which came after the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration started an investigation into Tesla’s Autopilot on Monday.
Tesla cars come standard with Autopilot, which allows them to keep a safe distance from oncoming traffic. Although Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) system does not make its vehicles totally autonomous, it does provide enhanced driver assistance capabilities like lane change and automated parking for $10,000.
Musk frequently uses the acronym FSD to refer to the Tesla package of features, but many people misinterpret it to mean fully autonomous driving.
Musk has bragged about how safe the technology is and promised that self-driving cars will be available soon, only to miss his own targets, at least, in view of the lawmakers
Since 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has started 30 investigations into Tesla crashes in which the agency suspects advanced driver assistance systems were used.