Tesla faces scrutiny by German regulator over Autopilot

Jessica Thompson

Tesla faces a review in Germany over an Autopilot feature, as regulatory scrutiny intensifies into the automaker’s driver-assistance technology.


The KBA, Germany’s federal motor vehicle office, is investigating Tesla’s automated lane-change function and whether it’s approved for use in Europe, Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported on Sunday, citing a spokesman for the agency.

The KBA is also in contact with the Netherlands’ vehicle agency, which is responsible for approving Tesla cars in Europe, according to Bild.

Increased regulatory scrutiny is posing a risk to Tesla’s commercialization of automated-vehicle technology.

Last week, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened its second probe into a possible Autopilot defect.

The electric-car maker has drawn criticism over issues including how it branded the systems and whether it does enough to safeguard against inattentiveness and misuse.

The latest development in Germany adds to the regulatory hurdles Tesla is facing in the country.

Progress at its first European factory, in a site near Berlin, has been slower than expected amid a backlash from environmental groups concerned about water use and wildlife.

Tesla and KBA weren’t immediately available for comment outside normal business hours.

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