(Reuters) – Tesla Inc. (TSLA.D) receiving a cease-and-desist letter last year from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), for making misleading statements about the safety rating of its Model 3 car, according to the documents seen by Reuters.
FILE PHOTO BY 2018, A Tesla Model 3 electric car to be seen in this picture illustration taken in Cardiff, California, u.s., June 1, 2018. The photo was taken on June 1, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
The documents also show that the Model has received two subpoenas issued by the NHTSA in march of last year, in connection with the two accidents with the car. Tesla has, in a confidential response, in the month of August.
To An Oct. 17, 2018, with the letter it appears the NHTSA is also accused of Tesla’s earlier failure to comply with the agency’s guidelines, and that it was referring the matter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate whether or not the statements are false or misleading acts in the practice.
A spokesman for the FTC, declined to comment. “FTC investigations are non-public, and we do not comment on investigations or the existence of an investigation,” he said.
The Elon Musk-led electric-car maker, claimed in October of the same Model and 3 of the cars had the lowest risk of injury to the occupants of a vehicle from the U.S. government’s tests, but the NHTSA said that it was not in compliance with the agency’s guidelines for the use of.
The Model 3 had the highest rating on the agency’s 5-Star safety ratings Program is that it makes use of three of the crash tests, and rollover resistance rating in order to come up with an overall ranking.
NHTSA said in its Oct. 17 in a letter of its guidelines to warn against the comparison of the figures, as it is liable to mislead the consumer as to the relative safety of different car models.
Tesla did not agree with the agency’s position. “His statement is neither inaccurate nor misleading,” the company’s Deputy General Counsel to the company, All of Prescott, said in an Oct. 31 in a letter to the NHTSA.
The U.S. Department of Transportation released the documents to the legal transparency of the group PlainSite obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Tesla has been criticized by safety groups for the lack of clarity about the need for “hands-on” driving to the autonomous driving mode.
The manufacturer’s use of the term “fully self-driving garners criticism, if it is not the “Level 4”, or autonomously by the industry standard, where the car will be capable of dealing with all aspects of driving in the majority of cases, without any human intervention.
Prescott said in the letter that the agency’s claim that the Model has failed to comply with the NHTSA’s NCAP advertising guidelines, which may now or in the past has been wrong.”
Tesla’s blog post on the safety and security it still says that cars are designed to be the safest car in the world.”
It is also said of Tesla’s cars will have reached the lowest probability of injury of any vehicle ever tested by the government of the u.s. New Car Assessment Program.”
The NHTSA, and Tesla did not immediately respond to multiple requests for comment via phone and e-mail. The international monetary fund, was the first to report on the case.
Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee and Sathvik S in Bengaluru; David Sherpherson in Washington; Editing by Bernard Orr and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty