Telsa agreed this week to reach a settlement in a class action lawsuit against buyers by Tesla vehicle buyers The company's semi-autonomous, assisted driving was "essentially useless and demonstrably dangerous".
The terms of the agreement, which are yet to be approved by US District Judge Beth Labson Freeman, require Tesla to invest more than $ 5 million in a settlement fund, according to Reuters. The Fund will provide Model S and Model X owners compensation for delays in the autopilot function. Per Tesla the settlement does not mention that the feature is "dangerous" as claimed in the original complaint.
As with most class actions, the agreement will not pay much to the actual members of the class. Reuters reports that Tesla owners purchased or leased cars with Enhanced Autopilot between October 201
When the class action lawsuit was first filed in April 2017, Tesla fiercely fought the charges, calling them "insincere," "inaccurate," and "sensationalist." The company since then seems to have changed their tune, calling the settlement an attempt to "correct through these customers" in a statement to The Verge.
The company said that since the launch of the second generation of the feature in 2016, "there has been a significant improvement in autopilot functionality," however, it acknowledged that "it took longer to implement these features," as we originally expected. "
While the autopilot class action applies only to Tesla customers in the United States, the company said that if the agreement is approved, it will extend the compensation plan to "all customers globally in the same way."  Autopilot was one of Tesla's distinctive features, a business card that greatly enhances the company. The company said the feature could reduce the crash rate by 40 percent, a statistic that was recently called into question. Tesla boss Elon Musk said: "The likelihood of an autopilot accident is lower." Consumer groups have begun urging the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Tesla for "fraudulent and unfair" practices in the marketing of autopilots.
Despite high standards and new features, Tesla has not fulfilled many of Autopilot's promises. The feature has been out of updates for months at a time and has recently come under fire as it may have played a role in accidents, including at least two falls that resulted in the deaths of drivers.
Telsa has recently made promises to improve autopilot. On Twitter, Musk admitted on Twitter that "certainly must be better" autopilot and said the company is working to "improve it every day". The CEO also undertook to issue quarterly security updates for the feature during Telsa's recent revenue call.
Update, May 26, 2:15 pm: The story has been updated to reflect while the original class action lawsuit claims Tesla's autopilot feature is "essentially unusable and demonstrably dangerous" The settlement of Tesla offers replacement for late trains.
[Reuters, The Verge]