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The fusion of technology and innovation in our automobiles have given consumers options and features beyond their wildest dreams. However, with such innovation, there can be great risks to the safety and protection of consumers. When marketing these features, auto manufacturers must be careful to ensure they are not deceptively placing profits over the protection of their consumers.

Take California–based tech company, Tesla, for example. Tesla has begun to market and equip all of their automobiles with what they refer to as “full self-driving” hardware. Driver assisted features continue to rapidly evolve, and companies like Tesla need to ensure they are making the careful distinction between “driver assisted” and “full self-driving.”

Globally, Tesla is facing serious scrutiny for deceptively marketing this feature following numerous accidents. Transportation officials in Germany and China have called on Tesla to stop marketing the hardware as “self-driving,” as it gives the consumers a false sense of the actual capabilities of the car.

Even Consumer Reports has joined in the chorus, calling on Tesla to cease use of this feature until more testing can be done to ensure greater safety for consumers. Tesla has shrugged off those voicing concerns for consumers and continues to market their cars as “full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver.”

If Tesla will not come clean and be honest with consumers about their technology, consumer advocates like auto retailers will need to continue to push for the protection of their consumers.

James T. Fleming, president of the Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association. The Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association board includes Jeff Aiosa, Carriage House Mercedes, New London; Ken Crowley, Crowley Automotive, Bristol; Chip Gengras, Gengras Motors, East Hartford; Jonathan Larabee, Manchester Honda, Manchester; David Stevens, Stevens Ford, Milford, and; Meghan Scranton Wilson, Scranton Motors, Vernon. Learn more at

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