California calls it "false advertising," but Tesla claims "free speech"

In another fantastic argument to defend Tesla's "Autopilot," litigious pedo guy Elon Musk claims California can't regulate false advertising because it violates his free speech.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles has filed a complaint against Tesla and wants to strip it of its license to produce motor vehicles in the State. The complaint stems from the numerous problems with Tesla's non-working "Autopilot." Musk had been all over the place with personal promises about how wonderful it was until people started getting hurt, whistleblowers released tons of internal documents revealing that the company knew, and the government got involved. Ever since, we've heard a lot less from Musk about self-driving tech, however he has been busy enabling "free speech" elsewhere.

It should come as no surprise that Musk's defense against the complaint is that "the First Amendment lets me say whatever I want." Clearly, the government can regulate speech on behalf of public safety. Lies about a car's autonomous driving system very likely meet whatever standard the courts require. This seems like another large waste of time and money.

Ars Technica:

The DMV's July 2022 complaint alleges that Tesla falsely advertises its Autopilot-enabled cars as operating autonomously and seeks a suspension or revocation of Tesla's manufacturer license.

Tesla's response, which was filed last week and published yesterday in a story by The Register, says that several California statutes and regulations cited by the DMV "are unconstitutional under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 2, of the California Constitution, as they impermissibly restrict Tesla's truthful and nonmisleading speech about its vehicles and their features."

One of the state laws that Tesla complains about is Cal. Veh. Code § 24011.5, which says that companies "shall not name any partial driving automation feature, or describe any partial driving automation feature in marketing materials, using language that implies or would otherwise lead a reasonable person to believe, that the feature allows the vehicle to function as an autonomous vehicle."