The Federal Association of German Consumer Centers has sued Tesla. Accordingly, the US electric car manufacturer is hiding the fact that its customers are violating data protection. Tesla also makes misleading environmental claims.

Tesla faces new lawsuits. The Federal Association of German Consumer Centers justified this on Tuesday with “misleading statements” by the car company about CO2 savings through the purchase of its cars and with data protection concerns when using the so-called guard mode for environmental monitoring. The lawsuits were filed with the regional court in Berlin, the association announced in the capital.

The consumer advocates criticize the company’s advertising statements, which, according to the association, could give buyers the impression that the purchase of a Tesla will reduce the overall CO2 emissions of car traffic. In reality, however, the US group sells the rights it saves on CO2 emissions from its own fleet to other car manufacturers.

Tesla Guardian feature not allowed in public spaces

In addition, consumer advocates accuse Tesla of not informing the users of its cars that data protection-compliant use of the so-called guard function in public spaces is likely to be impossible. Cameras monitor the surroundings and save the recordings in certain cases, which is intended to protect the vehicles. According to the association, this is not permitted under the General Data Protection Regulation.

According to this, Tesla owners would have to obtain consent for data processing from random passers-by in the field of view of the cameras. In addition, an unprovoked recording of what is happening around the cars is not permitted at all. The drivers therefore risked fines.

In this context, the federal association also criticized “gaps” in the approval process. Otherwise it is not possible to explain why the function was approved at all despite “massive data protection deficiencies”, he said. The cooperation of the competent Federal Motor Transport Authority with the Federal Data Protection Officer must be urgently strengthened. The introduction of a mandatory data protection impact assessment must be examined.