On Thursday Tesla reached an agreement to settle a class action lawsuit filed by six Model S and Model X owners who alleged that the company’s assistant driving Autopilot system was unusable and demonstrated it to be dangerous.
The agreement was announced in San Jose federal court and still has to be permitted by U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman. According to the deal, Tesla agreed to compensate those who have bought 2.0 version of Autopilot vehicles and had to wait long for its promised features to get activated.
As the company states, “We have continued to provide software updates that have led to a major improvement in Autopilot functionality.” It also added that it would offer the settlement to the worldwide customers.
Members who had already contributed a certain amount of $5,000 to get the enhanced Autopilot upgrade between 2016 and 2017 will receive compensation between $20 and $280. However, Steve Berman, the lawyer of the company has not commented yet.
In recent months the company has been facing intense scrutiny over Tesla Autopilot system since two of Tesla drivers died in car crashes in which Autopilot was involved. The most recent crash that occurred in March is under scrutiny by safety regulators.
Released in 2015 Autopilot is a cruise-control system that controls steering and brakes and as Tesla claims that this enhanced feature actually reduces 40% of the crashes. However, the agency said that the regulators have not yet assessed its effectiveness.
It was allegedly reported that the Tesla Autopilot features such as automated emergency braking, side collision warnings, and auto high beams did not turn up or were unreliable. The system was not verified to the safeguards as it would brake unexpectedly without any reason and would not break when approaching large vehicles like buses and trucks.
Musk has been sarcastic about the crash saying that the journalists are focusing on crashes for sensational reasons. Yet Musk admits in one of his followed up tweets that certainly Autopilot needs to be better and his team works to improve it every day.