Tesla debacle: Lawsuit over faulty semi-autonomous driving system filed, 53,000 vehicles recalled

The lawsuit stated that buyers actually paid $5000 premium over the standard vehicle price for the said technology.

While Tesla is gearing out to start the production of its first widely affordable electric car, Model 3, from July this year, some really displeased Tesla vehicles owners have filed a complaint in the US District Court in San Jose, against the Elon Musk's unconventional automaker. They accused the company of selling them cars with "Enhanced Autopilot" technology, knowing fully well that it was not functional and also lacked standard safety features.

The lawsuit also mentioned that over 47,000 vehicles that were built in Q4 016 and Q1 2017 have faulty semi-autonomous driving system. Seattle based law-firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, on behalf of three customers, filed the lawsuit.

Following recent software update that was a part of Tesla's AP2.0 the car started "behaving as if a drunk driver is at the wheel" when Autopilot is engaged, the suit said, citing a customer report.

However, Tesla has dismissed the complaint against them, saying that the lawsuit is a "disingenuous attempt to secure attorney's fees posing as a legitimate legal action, which is evidenced by the fact that the suit misrepresents many facts."

"We have always been transparent about the fact that Enhanced Autopilot software is a product that would roll out incrementally over time, and that features would continue to be introduced as validation is completed, subject to regulatory approval," Tesla said. "The inaccurate and sensationalistic view of our technology put forth by this group is exactly the kind of misinformation that threatens to harm consumer safety," added the company in their statement.

The three customers suing Tesla, who paid between $81,000 and $113,000 for their vehicles, had been told the functionality would be ready by December 2016. Likewise, "Standard Safety Features," including automated collision avoidance and automatic emergency braking systems that were to be available in December 2016 through wireless updates either haven't arrived yet or have defects, according to the suit.

On the other hand in the middle of this legal battle, Tesla recalled around 53,000 Model S and Model X cars to fix a problem with the parking brake. Although, according to the company, only 2% of those 53,000 cars built between February to October 2016 have been affected, but they are recalling all of them for rechecking and fixing.

In a statement, the firm said the electric parking brakes installed on Model S and Model X "may contain a small gear that could have been manufactured improperly by our third-party supplier". If the gear were to break, the parking brake would continue to keep the car from moving, but the parking brake would be stuck in place, it added. Tesla said that they have not received any complaint regarding the parking brake failure and that it's "safe to continue regular use of your vehicle."

The company will send an official notice to the customers with information about how the parking brake can be replaced or fixed.