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Tesla Has to Buy Back Model 3 in Germany Due to Unreliable FSD Equivalent

In the U.S., Tesla has no issues selling cars with Full Self-Driving software that does not drive its vehicles. In Germany, the American company apparently calls it “Volles Potenzial für autonomes Fahren,” or “full potential for autonomous driving.” It now costs €7,500 ($8,262 at the current exchange rate), but it once cost €6,300 ($6,940). An unhappy German customer decided to sue Tesla based on that software.
Tesla is convicted to buy back Model 3 in Germany due to FSD equivalent e 22 photos
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This man decided to sue the company to get his money back after realizing that his car drove “like a drunk novice driver” when the software was active. He also claimed that the hardware in his Model 3 was not compatible with the ADAS (advanced driver-assistance system).

Der Spiegel brought the case up but did not detail why this customer’s Tesla did not work as expected with the software. Our bet is that he received a Model 3 with HW 2.5 instead of HW 3.0. It is worth reminding you about this so that we are on the same page.

Elon Musk pledged on April 22, 2019, that all Teslas made from that day on would have HW 3.0, a new computer that would have the necessary computing power to achieve autonomous driving. Until that point, the EVs came with HW 2.5, a computer that Tesla had promised on October 19, 2016, would make all its cars become robotaxis.

The problem is that multiple customers kept receiving cars with HW 2.5. In China, customers complained about that to consumer protection authorities, and Tesla was ordered to replace all the older computers in newer cars. In Canada, people were studying to sue Tesla to give them the HW 3.0 units Elon Musk said they would have.

Tesla’s excuse to avoid that was that everyone that paid for FSD would get a computer replacement for free when the software was ready. Considering it never is – and continues to be presented as beta software – Tesla is virtually exempt from keeping its word. Luckily for this German customer, that does not apply in his country.

The district court in Darmstadt heard from this Tesla client that his car was incapable of overtaking slower vehicles on highways. It also did not recognize traffic lights and stop signs. Being like a “drunk novice driver,” this German customer disputed that his car was anywhere near something with “full potential for autonomous driving.”

Tesla tried to defend against these allegations with something that its customers already turned into an inside joke: the company said its ADAS was “within spec” and that it worked in accordance with regulations for autonomous driving currently applied in Germany. The Darmstadt court did not buy it.

The American EV maker was convicted not only of giving this customer his €6,300 back. The German judges ordered Tesla to repurchase the Model 3, which cost €69,000 ($76,010). The consumer’s attorney, Christoph Lindner, said this is an important precedent for Tesla to “legally vouch” for its promises. Tesla appealed the verdict.

 
 
 
 
 

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