Tesla is sued for false advertising on Autopilot and FSD

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Autopilot and FSD buyers are suing Tesla, automakers are upset that dealers aren’t allowed to lie, and Tesla is moving battery production to the United States. All this and more in The morning shift for Thursday, September 15, 2022.

1st gear: Buyers are suing Tesla over claims that autonomy will arrive next year, totally, for real this time

There is a tradition in the automotive world, which has arisen over the last decade. Once a year Elon Musk comes out and says Tesla cars will be capable of full autonomy in the following year. Then, presumably, he seeks his shadow to tell us all if there will be another six weeks of winter.

But customers are tired of the ever-changing schedule, and buyers who put five or six figures on a car in order to get technology that doesn’t yet exist are starting to feel ripped off. So much so, in fact, that they are suing Tesla. Of Reuters:

Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) was sued on Wednesday in a proposed class action lawsuit accusing Elon Musk’s electric car company of misleading the public by falsely advertising its Autopilot features and complete self-driving.

The complaint accused Tesla and Musk of having since 2016 misleadingly advertised the technology as fully functional or “just around the corner” when they knew the technology was non-working or non-existent and made vehicles unsafe.

Briggs Matsko, the named plaintiff, said Tesla did so to “generate excitement” for its vehicles, attract investment, boost sales, avoid bankruptcy, boost its stock price and become a “dominant player in electric vehicles.

“Tesla has yet to produce anything that comes close to a fully self-driving car,” Matsko said.

Lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco seeks unspecified damages for people who, since 2016, have purchased or leased Tesla vehicles with Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self-Driving features .

In a shocking turn of events, people who spend big bucks on a car to get a specific feature are upset when that feature doesn’t actually exist. Who knew!

2nd gear: automakers are unhappy that their dealerships can’t lie

Earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commission established new rules on how much a car dealer can lie to their buyers. Dealers, having become fat and complacent on lies, were unhappy with the change. Now it seems they’ve called the big guns: the automaker lobbies. Of Automotive News:

A lawyer for the Alliance of Automotive Innovation on Monday advised the Federal Trade Commission to rethink its dealer price disclosure strategy, calling the agency’s current plans “onerous on the conversational nature of many sales.”

David Bright, senior counsel for the auto trade group, also called for language clarifying the FTC’s plan to ban duplicate F&I products and gave the agency a general warning that “excessive regulation and micromanagement” could interfere with the car buying process.

“Manufacturers view their dealerships favorably,” Bright wrote in the organization’s public commentary on the FTC’s proposed new regulations for car dealerships. “Regulation that unnecessarily burdens dealerships and creates rigid processes in auto retailing could frustrate consumers and negatively impact automakers through lower sales and diminished consumer perception. of their brands and the automotive industry as a whole.”

Now, maybe it’s just my own naivety, but I think “being lied to and slapped with four figures in last minute mandatory charges” would result in “diminished customer perception” far more than any regulation of the FTC. I guess that’s why I’m just a blogger and not a top lawyer for automakers.

3rd gear: Tesla could move battery production to the United States

The Cut Inflation Act imposed a number of new restrictions on the $7,500 electric vehicle tax credit, as Joe Manchin makes his money on fossil fuels and he there will be no clean energy newcomers interrupting this sweet cash flow. One of the most controversial restrictions concerns the construction of batteries, where rules still written will force automakers to manufacture their batteries in the United States or risk being excluded from tax credits for their vehicles. Tesla, it seems, is moving quickly to follow the rules – moving planned battery production from Germany to the United States. From the wall street journal:

Tesla Inc. is suspending plans to make battery cells in Germany as it plans to qualify for U.S. electric vehicle and battery manufacturing tax credits, people familiar with the matter said.

The company, which is working to produce its own batteries, discussed shipping cell-making equipment to the United States that it intended to use at its Berlin-area plant, the sources said.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In the days after the bill took effect, the company told Texas officials it was looking for regional sites for a plant that would refine lithium, a key input for batteries that is today mainly processed in China.

Of course, battery production is only one piece of the puzzle. To continue to receive every penny of the revised rebates, Tesla will also need to start sourcing lithium only from countries with which the United States has existing trade agreements.

4th gear: Ultium workers authorize strike against union recognition

In Ohio there is a plant that is not exactly a General Motors plant, but not exactly an LG plant either. It’s the two, a collaboration between the two companies that produces GM’s Ultium EV components. But the workers at this plant see themselves more as automakers than chemists and have organized with the United Auto Workers to be represented as such. Now they are ready to shut down the factory for companies to recognize the unity. From Detroit News:

Workers at the Ultium Cells LLC plant in northeast Ohio have authorized a strike in an effort to get the company to recognize the United Auto Workers union as the bargaining agent.

On Friday, 94% of voting workers at the General Motors Co. and LG Energy Solution joint venture plant approved the strike recognition measure, UAW Local 1112 President Darwin Cooper said in Detroit. News. There is no deadline for the strike to occur, he added.

Experts say the UAW will use the vote as leverage at the table in its efforts to get the company to recognize the union. But Ultium said in a statement it was pushing for a National Labor Relations Board-certified election, which experts say the UAW would like to avoid because it lengthens the process.

Ultium is General Motors’ new ace, his vision for the future of the company. If he wants to bet on electric vehicles, the workers who build them deserve adequate representation.

5th gear: Porsche’s IPO will have exactly 911 million shares, because we care

Did you know that companies, when issuing shares on the stock market, can issue the number of shares they want? Porsche seems to be doing this, as it has decided on 911 million shares for its upcoming IPO, in honor of the Porsche 911. Welcome to economics, where the laws are mostly invented and the numbers never seem question. Of Reuters:

Volkswagen’s supervisory board (VOWG_p.DE) is due to meet on Sunday to push ahead with the IPO of its Porsche brand, which will include 911 million shares in a nod to its most famous model, two said. sources familiar with the matter.

Details on the price range, valuation and confirmed investors are expected to be announced after the meeting, a third source said.

The 911 million Porsche AG shares will be split into 455.5 million preferred shares and 455.5 million ordinary shares, according to the share placement’s website. Only preferred shares will be listed.

Porsche SE (PSHG_p.DE), Volkswagen’s largest shareholder, has already pledged to buy 25% plus one of the common shares at a 7.5% premium to the preferred shares.

Porsche is therefore owned by Volkswagen, which is largely owned by Porsche, and Porsche will buy Porsche from Volkswagen through the IPO. I go back to bed.

Reverse: And then we learned from our mistakes and never repeated them

Neutral: Please enjoy this color.

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Photo: Ford

Since time immemorial, my favorite car color has always been the midnight purple of the GT-Rs of the 90s. Ford made a strong attempt to beat it with Liquid Blue, but never saw production and didn’t have enough flakes (although that presaged the Nardo Gray hell we all live in). But Blue Ember, out of the Mustang Dark Horse, can take the cake. Just see to her.


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