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Court orders Tesla to buy back car from customer who felt Autopilot was like ‘a drunk first-time driver’

A court in Germany has ordered Tesla to buy back a Model 3 vehicle from a customer who filed a complaint over how disappointed he was with the Full Self-Driving package – which includes Autopilot features – that he felt it was driving like “a drunk first-time driver”.

Tesla is starting to see increasing pushback against its Full Self-Driving package.

Since 2016, the automaker has been claiming that all of its vehicles are sold with the hardware needed to enable full self-driving with future software updates that you can get, if you buy the now $12,000 Full Self-Driving package.

Six years later, that has yet to happen.

Tesla tried to sweeten the deal by adding some other features to the Full Self-Driving package that are also associated with Autopilot, like Navigate on Autopilot, Auto Lane Change, Autopark, and Summon. In Europe, things are more complicated since some of these features are nerfed due to local regulations.

Now, some Tesla owners are going to court to get reimbursed for the package after it didn’t live up to expectations. The automaker just lost a case in Darmstadt Regional Court, which ordered Tesla to buy back the plaintiff’s Model 3.

Spiegel reports on the case:

As a result, assistance functions such as automatically overtaking slower vehicles on the freeway did not work. The steering behavior at entrances and exits or motorway junctions is spongy and resembles that of a “drunk novice driver.” Traffic lights and stop signs are not recognized.

Tesla said that there’s no defect with the car and insists that the features would be delivered in the future through software updates, but it can’t say when:

With regard to the process, the US group states that it is not aware of any software or hardware malfunctions on the vehicle that could not have been remedied by a repair. According to Tesla, the necessary upgrade to the latest hardware would have been free of charge. Systems and features worked as intended and in accordance with the current regulations for autonomous driving in Germany.

The automaker has appealed the court’s verdict.

CEO Elon Musk recently said that he believes Tesla’s FSD Beta is going to launch in Europe later this year, but it depends on regulatory approval.

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