In a letter to DMV Director Jean Shiomoto Consumer Watchdog's Privacy Project Director John M. Simpson wrote:
"Tesla, with its promotion of its so-called 'Autopilot' feature, is a prime example of the deadly consequences of such unjustified hype. Chairman Elon Musk has repeatedly extolled the Tesla's self-driving virtues to clearly leave the impression that the vehicle is autonomous."
View Consumer Watchdog's letter here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/ltrdmv112316.pdf
"Two drivers who were misled by Tesla's Autopilot hype, one in China and one in Florida, are dead after fatal crashes," the letter continued. "Tesla's response now, in direct contradiction to Musk's 'Look Mom, No Hands' hype, has been that the drivers should have been paying attention and should have had their hands on the steering wheel."
View Consumer Watchdog's video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDv9TEXtHzw
DMV proposed new draft autonomous vehicle regulations in September that would protect consumers with a section that provides that "a vehicle cannot be advertised as autonomous in California unless it meets the definition of 'autonomous' specified in Vehicle Code §38750 and the autonomous vehicle regulations."
The key safety provision was only a small part of a larger autonomous vehicle regulation package, Consumer Watchdog noted, and because of the complexity of the entire package, the necessary formal rulemaking to implement it will likely be time consuming. The package of regulations probably will not take effect for at least a year.
"That is too long to wait to stop Tesla and its CEO from risking even more lives by falsely promoting Autopilot technology as self-driving. Currently there is nothing to stop the sort of hype spouted by Elon Musk with its potentially deadly consequences," Consumer Watchdog's letter said. "DMV should extract the advertising regulatory language from the rest of the draft autonomous vehicle regulations and start a formal rulemaking to enact that section immediately."
Here are examples of the promotional campaign to drill the idea into consumer consciousness that Teslas drive themselves:
"Much of the new autonomous vehicle draft regulation pertains to future developments in the technology. For the most part, the rules would not impact any vehicle now on public highways. The regulations are complex and it makes sense to take the time necessary to get them right," Consumer Watchdog's letter concluded. "The situation is different with the advertising provision. The language is clear and straightforward. Car manufacturers, like Tesla, are hyping their vehicles now. People are getting killed. The DMV must move as quickly as possible to enact this life-saving provision and stop such abuses."
View DMV's statement about the draft autonomous vehicle regulations here: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/wcm/connect/e12bbed6-f168-4fa3-bc09-4ca244c56ad0/avworkshopnotice_10192016.pdf?MOD=AJPERES
View DMV's new draft autonomous vehicle regulations here: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/wcm/connect/211897ae-c58a-4f28-a2b7-03cbe213e51d/avexpressterms_93016.pdf?MOD=AJPERES
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To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/consumer-watchdog-asks-california-dmv-to-expedite-rule-banning-misleading-robot-car-advertising-new-video-shows-how-tesla-hype-of-autopilot-feature-cost-lives-300369622.html
SOURCE Consumer Watchdog