A California State filed charges alleging Tesla misled customers about its driver assistance systems, US media reported on Friday. If the allegations are proven, it could prevent the company from selling its vehicles in the state.
Tesla misrepresented the capabilities of Autopilot and Self-Driving technologies, according to a petition from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the Los Angeles Times reported.
In its charges, which DMV filed with the Administrative Hearings Division in quasi-judicial court on July 28, the company allegedly said the company had "made or spread false or deceptive and unsubstantiated claims."
According to the California publication, the DMV stated that Tesla cars "can no longer operate as autonomous vehicles" and never did.
A request for comment from AFP was not immediately responded to by the DMV. According to Tesla's website, Autopilot has "full self-driving capability."
It reads, “All you have to do is jump in and tell your car where to go.” If you don't say anything, your car will check your calendar and take you there, assuming that's where you want to go.
According to the Times, a decision in favor of the California regulator could lead to serious regulation for the electric vehicle manufacturer, including the potential revocation of licenses that allow Tesla to manufacture or sell its vehicles in the state.
But a DMV representative told the newspaper that the agency's actual solutions would require Tesla to better inform drivers about its autonomous vehicles and add a notice about the technology's limits.
The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which examined the company, in a report published in June, revealed that 273 accidents involving Tesla vehicles using autonomous driving technology occurred in the US.
Tesla's CEO, Elon Musk, stressed the importance of fully autonomous driving in June, claiming that without it the company's value would be "near zero."
Tesla shares fell 6.63 percent to $864.51 at the close of the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.