Judge Rejects Tesla’s Effort To Have Accusations Dismissed

Judge Rejects Tesla's Effort To Have Accusations Dismissed

(LibertyInsider.org) – California Administrative Law Judge Juliet Cox threw another wrench into Elon Musk’s plans for Tesla. On Monday, June 10, she ruled that the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) could pursue its investigation and a hearing into accusations that the electric vehicle (EV) company had routinely overstated its vehicles’ “Full-Self Driving” capabilities in marketing and advertising efforts.

Cox made her decision after hearing arguments from Tesla Lawyers and DMV attorney Greg Call on June 7. Tesla’s legal team argued that self-driving capabilities didn’t equate to fully autonomous vehicles. Instead, they said the cars could accommodate possible software upgrades, which might allow them to become fully autonomous at some future point. Tesla asked Cox to dismiss the DMV’s investigation and hearing.

Arguing for the DMV, Call maintained that Cox should not toss the case before the agency had an opportunity to present its findings and evidence at a hearing scheduled later this year. Without discussing the case’s merits, Cox ultimately agreed with Call, saying a dismissal at this point would be premature.

Cox’s decision came almost a month after a federal judge, Rita F. Lin of the US Northern District Court of California, ruled that she would not dismiss a class-action lawsuit brought by Tesla owners. The action claims that Tesla engaged in false advertising by touting its vehicles as “self-driving,” labeling its advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) as “autonomous driving technology.”

The suit additionally claims that Tesla’s false representations violated California’s False Advertising Law, Consumer Legal Remedies Act, and Unfair Competition Law, constituting fraud and deceit through negligent misrepresentation of the products. Claimants are seeking injunctions and compensation.

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