German Court Rules That Tesla’s Autopilot Advertising Is Misleading

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Tesla went a step too far in using the term “autopilot” in advertising for its cars in Germany, according to a Munich court, which, on Tuesday, banned the U.S. e-car manufacturer from using that word.

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The court also took issue with a number of other advertising statements used in connection with autonomous driving, coming down on the side of the German Agency to Combat Unfair Competition, which had issued a complaint against Tesla.

The organisation had complained that Tesla had given the impression, among other things, that its cars featuring driver assistance “could and should be able to drive autonomously by the end of 2019’’.

The cars neither had the technology needed to drive autonomously nor are they legally allowed to do so in Germany, leading the plaintiffs to claim the advertising was misleading.

The ruling is not yet final.

The agency is yet to decide whether to nonetheless make the ban immediately enforceable, which it could do by paying security of 100,000 euros ($114,000).

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