Tesla settles lawsuit with former head of its Autopilot system

The settlement also states that Tesla may conduct a second audit that must be completed by February of next year, which would also be covered by the $100,000 payment.

Aurora paid $100,000 to Tesla as part of a settlement to cover the cost of a future audit.

Bloomberg noted that there are other pending cases involving Tesla cars in which drivers lost control of their vehicles causing them to crash through their garage walls.

The lawsuit, filed April 19, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, states, "Unwittingly, buyers of affected vehicles have become beta testers of half-baked software that renders Tesla vehicles risky if engaged".

The class-action plaintiffs said that Tesla knowingly sold nonfunctional Enhanced Autopilot AP2.0 software in almost 50,000 cars. "What consumers received were cars without standard safety enhancements featured by cars costing less than half the price of a new Tesla, and a purported "Enhanced Autopilot" that operates in an erratic and risky manner", the statement continues.

The suit details Tesla's deceptive rollout of both the Standard Safety Features and its new Enhanced Autopilot, which were touted as safe and "stress-free" for the driver.

The electric automaker had also failed to deliver promised safety feature improvements as quickly as it should, it added.

The lawsuit shone a stark light on the competition among companies developing self-driving cars, each vying for a technological edge. "It knowingly deceived tens of thousands who put their faith in these cars and in Tesla".

Tesla says it's never claimed its vehicles are armed with "full self-driving capability". By the end of this year, the auto maker plans to have a vehicle drive from Los Angeles to NY to prove its driverless capabilities.

It could also brake and speed up with traffic and even change lanes on its own.

"Today, less than three months after filing (and even before we were permitted to file a response) Tesla has withdrawn its claims, without damages, without attorney's fees, and without any finding of wrongdoing", Aurora Innovation said in an emailed statement.

Tesla is facing its first USA legal challenge over self-driving technology in a case alleging the electric carmaker sold 47 000 vehicles with Autopilot software that's "dangerously defective" when engaged. It's becoming clear that Aurora is more than a spinoff of Tesla's Autopilot program, which wasn't clear from its uncontrolled coming out in Tesla's lawsuit. They also added that they never claimed that their cars now had "full self-driving capability" and that it was not possible to know when that function would be available for purchase because of local regulatory approval. Tesla is also trying to turn the table on the complainants by saying that the "misinformation" being spread by such lawsuits and complainants are what "threatens to harm consumer safety".

In scope of the class-action lawsuit are "about 47,000 affected Model S and Model X vehicles".

  • Arturo Norris