German court rules Tesla is misleading customers by using the name Autopilot for its driver-assist feature

Earlier this year an industry sponsored body tasked to look out for anti-competitive practices in Germany, Wettbewerbszentrale, filed a lawsuit against Tesla claiming its use of the term Autopilot was misleading to consumers.

Today a Munich court sided with the group, and in its ruling banned Tesla from using the phrases “full potential for autonomous driving” and “Autopilot inclusive” in the country.

As explained in the court decision, the judge believed the terms were misleading for the average buyer. If one were to see those claims, they might assume the car can be driven without human intervention, something which is illegal in Germany.

In its defense, Tesla said it informs customers that Autopilot is a driver-assist feature, and the system still requires human oversight. This is stated on their website, and also in the vehicle when first turning on the feature.

Then of course there’s the actual definition of Autopilot, which clearly states it does “not replace human operators”.


Tesla has not yet commented on the ruling, which they can appeal.

This same confusion led to the Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) claiming last week that Autopilot was illegal to use on provincial roads. Drive Tesla followed up with the Minister’s office, who clarified yesterday the feature can be used in Saskatchewan.

h/t [Reuters]

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