California has passed a new law that prevents Tesla from recalling its fully self-driving (FSD) software. Although Tesla never claimed that FSD was fully autonomous, the electric maker is developing the technology for fully autonomous vehicles. Until its vehicles are fully autonomous, drivers must be alert and ready to take over at all times when using FSD or Autopilot.
But California lawmakers disagree with the FSD’s designations. The 1398 Senate bill was one of hundreds signed into law by Governor Newsom. The new law goes into effect in 2023 and specifically targets the Tesla name for its software. The bill was sponsored by Senate Transportation Committee Chair Lina Gonzalez, who claimed that Tesla falsely advertised its technology and that doing so was a safety issue.
The bill was sponsored after the California Department of Motor Vehicles alleged that the Tesla FSD was “false advertising.”
An excerpt from the new law reads as follows:
Neither the dealer nor the manufacturer may sell any new passenger vehicle equipped with any partial driving automation feature or offer any software update or other upgrade to the vehicle that adds any partial driving automation feature, without, at the time of delivery or upgrade of the vehicle, providing the purchaser or owner with a distinctive notice providing Name the feature and clearly describe the functionality and limitations of the feature.”
Neither the manufacturer nor the dealer shall designate any partial driving automation feature, or describe any partial driving automation feature in marketing materials, using language that is suggestive of or would lead a reasonable person to believe that such feature allows a vehicle to operate as a self-driving vehicle, as defined in section 38750, or have functionality not already included in the feature. Violation of this section is a misleading declaration for the purposes of section 11713.”
On its website about full self-driving capability, Tesla says all new vehicles have the hardware needed in the future for FSD.
“The system is designed to be able to take both short and long trips without any action required by the person in the driver’s seat.”
“Future unsupervised use of these features depends on achieving reliability far beyond human drivers, as evidenced by billions of miles of experience, as well as regulatory approval, which may take longer in some jurisdictions.”
“With the introduction of these self-driving capabilities, your vehicle will be continually upgraded with over-the-air software updates.”
– CO pushbuttons (@CO_MDL3) September 29, 2022
In November, a Tesla owner involved in a Thanksgiving Day accident claimed that the FSD malfunctioned, however, the driver’s claims are still being investigated by police. In August, Tesla’s Autopilot Software Director Ashok Eluswami shared data showing how Tesla’s Autopilot software prevents about 40 crashes per day that could have been caused by sudden, unintended acceleration. Many owners’ accounts credit Autopilot and FSD for saving their lives.
Disclosure: Johnna is a TSLA shareholder and believes in Tesla’s mission.
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