Tesla is not giving up on its “autopilot” function, despite some notable accidents involving drivers relying on the assist technology.
The company has revamped the driver-assist software, with a new version available in the next two to four months, Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said in a series of July Tweets. Musk said days later that the company will also produce a full self-driving vehicle by the end of the year.
“I’m extremely confident that level five or essentially complete autonomy will happen, and I think it will happen very quickly,” Musk said during a video interview at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference.
The news comes as Tesla faces concerns from drivers and regulators over accidents in which previous versions of the autopilot software may have contributed to the crash. The autopilot function is designed to allow cars to steer, accelerate and brake automatically while staying in their lane.
A Florida man had autopilot engaged in his Tesla when the vehicle drove beneath a semitrailer, causing a crash that left him dead, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A Tesla sport utility vehicle driver reportedly using autopilot mode was killed in California in 2018 when the car collided with a freeway barrier near Redwood City.
Teslas in autopilot mode have also collided with police cars and fire trucks in recent years.
Legal Rights for Car Owners
Whether it is a problem with self-driving software or a shoddy airbag, vehicle defects pose serious safety hazards for everyone on the road. In California, that is why the state’s lemon law is designed to protect car owners.
The Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act requires a car manufacturer to perform a variety of repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty. If the manufacturer is not able or is unwilling to fix a problem, it is obligated under the law to buy the car back. That means compensating the owner for the purchase price, financing fees and other related costs.
The manufacturer can instead offer to replace the vehicle, but it is up to the owner to accept or reject that option. A seasoned California lemon law attorney can help you navigate the process.
Consult a California Lemon Law Attorney
If you are a car owner or lessor who is haggling with a car manufacturer over repairs, an experienced California lemon law attorney can help. A lawyer can help you weigh your rights and options to ensure that the carmaker is held fully accountable.
At the Bickel Law Firm, we have represented hundreds of clients in defective vehicle cases in Southern California and across the state. We work tirelessly to get the people we represent the compensation they deserve and we have a strong track record of success.
Our offices are conveniently located in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. Call us at (888) 800-1983 or contact us online to speak with a California lemon law attorney today.