Tesla wins Germany’s Autopilot ad battle as California complaint looms


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You’re here (NASDAQ: TSLA) will be allowed to refer to its driver assistance technology as autonomous driving and autopilot, according to German industry publication Teslamag.

The automaker had been the subject of a complaint from the Center for the fight against unfair competition in Frankfurt, which sought to ban the phrases on the basis of false advertising. A 2020 court ruling in Munich called the moniker misleading, but that ruling was later overturned by a top court in the city at the end of 2021. Germany’s influential competition watchdog has sought to appeal of this last decision with his complaint.

According to the German trade magazine, the complaint was dismissed by the Federal Court of Justice. As such, advertisements may continue to refer to technologies in Tesla’s Preferred Terminology (TSLA) given the context provided regarding its capabilities on Tesla’s website and company materials. Namely, the phrases “full autonomous driving potential” and “autopilot included” in German advertising will be allowed.

That said, Tesla continues to battle regulators in the United States on similar grounds.

For example, the California DMV recently filed a lawsuit for deceptive marketing of the same technologies. The lawsuit adds to a recent formal request filed by U.S. Senator Gary Peters and Representative Jan Schakowsky with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for a briefing on ongoing Tesla vehicle crash investigations (TSLA) involving AutoPilot and advanced driver assistance systems.

Learn more about recent accident investigations involving Tesla.


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