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German Court Bans Tesla from Advertising Autopilot

Discussion in 'Autopilot & Autonomous/FSD' started by TMC Staff, Jul 14, 2020.

  1. TMC Staff

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    A Munich court ruled that Tesla misled consumers regarding the capabilities of Autopilot. A suit brought on by the non-profit Center for Protection Against Unfair Competition said Tesla promised customers more than it could actually deliver. The court banned Tesla Germany from including “full potential for autonomous driving” and “autopilot inclusive” in its advertising materials...
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  2. diplomat33

    diplomat33 Well-Known Member

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    "Tesla lost a case in a German court today over how the company advertises its Autopilot and Full Self-Driving, which the court judged “misleading.”

    The group claimed that Tesla has been misleading consumers by calling its level 2 assisted driving system “Autopilot” and claiming that “automatic driving on city streets” is coming later this year.

    Translated from German: "The regional court of Munich I (Az. 33 O 14041/19) today has various Tesla advertising statements for vehicle assistance functions such as ‘Autopilot included,’ ‘Full potential for autonomous driving,’ or ‘Until the end of the year: … automatic driving in urban areas’ as misleadingly prohibited."

    Tesla Autopilot and Full Self-Driving claims are judged 'misleading' by German court - Electrek

    I don't have a problem with the name "autopilot" but I think it was a marketing mistake to so brazenly promise and sell "full self-driving" and then not deliver. That's going to come back and bite you.
     
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  3. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    Should have gone with the name Ottopilot - after the inflatable from Airplane.
     
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  4. DanCar

    DanCar Active Member

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    About time so many mistruths got called on. Automatic driving in city streets in 2019, never came.
     
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  5. ChrML

    ChrML Member

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    I think the German court is pretty much right, the same would happen in Norway if someone brought it up.

    It's not the Autopilot term itself that is the problem, it's the context of the ads as a whole. When your ads mention "Autopilot" and "hardware capable of fully autonomous drive", it does set high expectations. You could argue the autopilot term is correct used, and the hardware can do full self-driving, however the software not mentioned in the ad can not. But it is not fully clear for an average end-user what the car actually can do.


    Elon Musk however just did a classic strawman response on Twitter by dismissing the entire case, by countering just a small part of the case AS the full case. He addresses only the use of the Autopilot term (but fails to address the actual concerns made by the court, self-driving claims etc...):

    Twitter

    Then further he attempts to reduce the credibility of the court by shifting the focus to that a German automaker is behind this:

    Twitter
     
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  6. Brando

    Brando Active Member

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    curious -

    Did VW (or any German OEM) get fined for diesel ads ??
     
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  7. andrewFW

    andrewFW Member

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    At this point it seems like autopilot and tesla are permanently intertwined in the public sphere. If they stop mentioning it, people will still know it's there. If coca-cola stopped running ads for a year, you wouldn't forget it existed.
     
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  8. Cmos2000

    Cmos2000 Member

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    Glad to hear it. Many people ask me if the car drives itself etc mostly due to Tesla autopilot marketing and Elon tweets Implying self driving or L5 driving is only 6-12 away and has been only 6-12 months away every time he talks about it regardless of the year
     
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  9. Brando

    Brando Active Member

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    Can you give an internet link (or URL) to a Tesla ad ??
    Tesla doesn't do ads in the US. Does Tesla do ads in Germany (or Norway??)

    curious: Did any German Diesel sellers/OEMs get fined for false ads about "clean diesels"? (what we call DieselGate in the US.)
    Holding corporations to honest ads would be a fine idea.

    Will the German court go after the term autopilot next? Who would they bring into court?

    Autopilot - Wikipedia
     
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  10. Tess-La

    Tess-La New Member

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    Bureaucrats and to some degree judges are often small minded puppets of the powers in control. In this case, the German Automotive industry, that through it's own shortsightedness is woefully behind in every way. The best way to handle these clowns is the way that Elon handled the California legislators who wanted to ban the Boring Flame Thrower. Call it the Testa Not an Autopilot.
     
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  11. timewasted

    timewasted Member

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    Seriously? They payed hundreds of millions of dollars in fines and are spending billions of dollars in non-fine penalties, as well as some people getting arrested over it. If you’re trying to say “well why doesn’t Germany clean their OWN house first?!” the answer is simply “they did”.
     
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  12. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Active Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Brando

    Brando Active Member

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    #13 Brando, Jul 14, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2020
    Not exactly. I really do think truth in advertising is proper.

    Sadly, here in the US corruption has leaked into almost all areas of modern life. Can't actually think of any area not corrupted. Perhaps someone could mention exceptions.
    city water systems Flint water crisis - Wikipedia Even mentions Obama "help" would you dare drink tap water in Elint?

    Healthcare constantly increasing costs note: https://www.debt.org/bankruptcy/statistics/
    Prescription drug costs
    Higher Education costs (College and above) - Over $1,500,000,000,000 dollars and an increasing trend.)
    Costs of Road repairs
    Most anything built and paid for by government (Schools, Hospitals, Libraries, transport, bridges, ... you get the idea.
    You can compare SpaceX prices to ULA - I would dare call it corruption.
    enough of whining from me

    22 Vets killing them selves on average each day - just part of our costs for endless wars.

    How do we treat those that risk life for our country?
    37,085 veterans were experiencing homelessness. Most homeless veterans were without children; only 2 percent were homeless as part of a family. 90.3 percent were men, while 8.9 percent (3,292 veterans) were women.
     
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  14. S4WRXTTCS

    S4WRXTTCS Well-Known Member

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    I wish they could have left Autopilot out of it. With Autopilot they're perfectly clear about what it does, and what it doesn't do. I don't see any false promises.

    It really wasn't that big of a problem until Tesla started advertising that the cars were full-self driving capable, and that. If anything the lawsuit is 3-4 years late.

    I fail to see how Tesla can even sell FSD in the EU. They have way too many regulations, and they nanny every little thing. The entire point to FSD is constant "well that didn't work" over, and over. It's not really fair for the people in the EU to wait years before they get a feature that's released in the US.

    But, their country simply does let them be alpha testers.
     
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  15. Collier007

    Collier007 Member

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    IMO, the court is correct. I hope FSD gets there eventually though.
     
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  16. Kuro68k

    Kuro68k Active Member

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    The court should make them issue refunds to everyone who bought full self driving. Then if they ever get it actually working they can sell it, or more likely sell a reduced version that is the best they can offer.
     
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  17. ChrML

    ChrML Member

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    No ads on the TV or magazines, but the contents of the webpage, the banners on the walls in the shops or the foils in their store count as ads/marketing by the law.

    Never seen an ad about Clean Diesel in Norway. It would most certainly be stopped if someone tried.

    I don't know about Germany (I'm not German), but in Norway other companies gets fined too, sometimes after a warning first. Examples:

    • Toyota was banned from calling their hybrid car the "electric car that charges itself". Technically it's true, but it sounds like a special electric car, not a hybrid that uses fossils.
    • OneCall (cell phone company) was banned from marketing themselves as "equally good, but cheaper" because they could not objectively prove that they were overall cheaper than their competitors. They now use "equally good, but cheap".
    • Tesla was banned from marketing their vehicle prices including fuel savings. Because they should only market what people actually should pay for the car. Not a pseuso-price including savings because that's not fair when comparing prices with other EVs.
    • During the Corona crisis a lot of companies were fined for claiming that their products was "good for preventing Corona infection" without actually being able to prove it.
    • During VW dieselgate in 2016 a company markedet that you can pay 160$ to participate in a "cost split" for building a case with VW. This was banned because this was not a cost split between owners, but a service with a price where the paying owners took all the risk. They should not claim it's a cost split.

    Etc... It's just to give examples how much misleading marketing is knocked down in Europe.

    It's not about the words alone, but it's about enforcing companies to have a consistency between markedet products and the actual products. I think we can all agree that Tesla is good at overselling their products.

    Reason this exists in Germany/Europe is to protect the consumers, and ensuring fair competition. Without these laws honest companies cannot compete with dishonest companies, forcing most marketing to be inaccurate. I think we see a lot more inaccurate and misleading marketing in the US than we're used to see in Europe.
     
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  18. Candleflame

    Candleflame Active Member

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    this is clearly not a german ad.
     
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  19. JohnSnowNW

    JohnSnowNW Active Member

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    I'm not sure how it was advertised in Germany, but a German company advertising in other countries in a way that would be illegal in theirs still seems relevant to the discussion.

    That aside, while they may have made advertisements targeted at the NA market, their youtube advertisement campaign could certainly be accessed by Germans.
     
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  20. dark cloud

    dark cloud Active Member

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    who cares about autopilot when you can get autoearplugs!
     
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