Tesla is facing a criminal investigation over its ‘self-driving’ vehicle claims, a new report says, adding to compounding scrutiny on Elon Musk as Twitter deal looms

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  • Tesla is facing a criminal probe over its “self-driving” claims, Reuters reported Wednesday.
  • Tesla markets its “Autopilot” vehicle function as offering “full self-driving capabilities.”
  • Sources advised Reuters that the Justice Department started an investigation into that declare final 12 months.

Tesla claims that its electrical autos are able to “self-driving” is the topic of a federal criminal investigation that started final 12 months, Reuters reported Wednesday.

Many automakers now equip their autos with driver-assist applied sciences designed to maintain a vehicle in its lane and forestall frontal collisions. But Tesla goes a step additional, claiming that an optionally available model of its Autopilot expertise supplies “full self-driving capabilities” — even as it instructs drivers to maintain their arms on the wheel always.

That declare is now the topic of a probe by prosecutors with the US Department of Justice, Reuters reported, citing three nameless sources acquainted with the matter. The investigation, which may in the end set off criminal costs towards Tesla executives, is centered on whether or not that declare constitutes defrauding shoppers.

However, sources advised the information company that it is removed from sure that any costs will consequence from the inquiry, partly as a result of Tesla qualifies its Autopilot claims by noting that its autos are usually not “autonomous.”

Neither the Department of Justice nor Tesla instantly responded to Insider’s requests for remark.

Despite Tesla’s claims, its optionally available Full Self-Driving Capability is nonetheless in “beta,” which means it is not thought-about a closing product. In a latest convention name with buyers, Tesla CEO Elon Musk conceded that, regardless of the title, “we’re not saying that [it’s] quite ready to have no one behind the wheel,” vehicle information web site Electrek reported.

Earlier this 12 months, lawmakers in California passed a bill that will bar Tesla and different automakers from utilizing the time period “Full Self Driving,” with backers arguing that the time period is deceptive and doubtlessly harmful.

“Are we just going to wait for another person to be killed in California?” state Sen. Lena Gonzalez advised the Los Angeles Times. “People in California think Full Self-Driving is fully automated when it’s not.”

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