Car owners sue Tesla over phantom braking problem

(ORDO NEWS) — The plaintiffs allege that the Tesla vehicles are defective and unsafe.

A San Francisco-based Tesla owner has filed a class-action lawsuit against the electric car company over a phantom braking problem that he says has turned “a safety feature into a scary and dangerous nightmare.” The lawsuit was first reported by Reuters.

The lawsuit was filed by San Francisco resident Jose Alvarez Toledo. Toledo estimates that “hundreds of thousands” of customers could join the class-action lawsuit against the company.

Car owners accuse Tesla of fraudulently hiding the risks associated with the Autopilot driver assistance system, violating its warranties, making unfair profits and violating California’s unfair competition law.

“Many Tesla owners have reported significant, unexpected slowdowns and stops due to nuisance braking systems in vehicles in their class, even though there were no objects nearby,” the lawsuit says.

“When a sudden unintentional braking defect occurs, they turn what should be a safety feature into a frightening and dangerous nightmare.”

A federal investigation has been launched into the phantom braking issue, which first surfaced last fall. As a result, Tesla was forced to cancel version 10.3 beta of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) software, the company’s advanced driver assistance system, due to issues with collision warnings and unexpected braking.

According to the Washington Post, after the rollback to the previous version of the software, the number of complaints actually increased significantly.

The NHTSA’s Defects Investigation Department has launched a “preliminary assessment” that could result in 416,000 vehicle recalls. However, to date, there have been no reports of accidents, injuries or deaths as a result of this problem.

The problem may be related to Tesla’s decision last year to remove radar sensors from the new Model 3 and Model Y vehicles.

The decision came after Tesla CEO Elon Musk publicly expressed a desire to rely solely on cameras for advanced driver assistance systems.

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