The woman sued Tesla because of problems with the Autopilot system and won the case. The Munich court ordered the American car manufacturer to reimburse the owner of the Model X 99,416 euros.
According to court documents, the woman bought a Tesla Model X in December 2016 for 112,640 euros ($114,500) and additionally paid for the Autopilot function 5,500 euros ($5,580). The car was delivered in March 2017, and in November of the same year issues began with the Autopilot, Business Insider reported.
The court granted the complaint about the malfunction of the Autopilot system. The court decision says that the system unreliably identified obstacles and that the brakes could have triggered suddenly for no apparent reason. The court also ruled that sudden braking poses a “serious danger” to urban traffic.
Tesla’s lawyers argued that the Autopilot system was not intended for use in urban traffic, but the court did not accept this argument in its decision. The decision states that manually turning on and off the autonomous driving system for various types of traffic can distract the driver.
In addition, the court granted the plaintiff’s complaints about the issues of the car not related to the Autopilot system. In particular, the fact that the Model X doors did not open and did not close properly.
This case sets an inconvenient precedent for Tesla, which is under the scrutiny of regulators because of the Autopilot system. This is a driving assistance system that allows the car to move and brake automatically. Tesla warns on its website that Autopilot does not make cars fully autonomous and requires “active driver control.”
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is currently investigating 11 cases where Tesla cars crashed into emergency vehicles while using the Autopilot system. In addition, cases of “phantom braking” are being investigated, when cars with an active “Autopilot” brake for no apparent reason.