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Tesla settles Autopilot class-action lawsuit

by Drew Johnson
Tesla settles Autopilot class-action lawsuit

Tesla owners that paid $5,000 for Autopilot will get up to $280 from the settlement.

Tesla settled on Thursday a class action lawsuit that claimed the automaker's Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system was "essentially unusable and demonstrably dangerous.”

The lawsuit, filed by Model S and Model X owners from four different states, claimed that Tesla took longer than promised to deliver its Autopilot 2.0 system. Those owners plunked down $5,000 to have their vehicle equipped with the enhanced Autopilot system.

The suit also claims the Autopilot system was faulty when it was finally delivered. Owners reported the system failing to detect larger vehicles like trucks and buses, and also applying the emergency braking system for no apparent reason.

Tesla will set aside more than $5 million in a settlement fund. Owners that paid extra for Autopilot will receive between $20 and $280 in compensation. The settlement will be offered to customer worldwide.

The settlement must still be approved by U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman.

The lawsuit is so far the only legal case Tesla has faced regarding its assisted-driving technology. However, it might not be the last as Tesla is facing increased scrutiny over Autopilot. In recent months two of the automaker's vehicles were involved in deadly crashes while the Autopilot system was activated. Safety activists are also calling on Tesla to drop the Autopilot name because it's "deceptive and misleading."