Reported by Reuters, Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) removed the word “autopilot” and a Chinese term for “self-driving” from its China website after a driver in Beijing who crashed in “autopilot” mode complained that the car maker overplayed the function’s capability and misled buyers. The Tesla driver crashed earlier this month while on a Beijing commuter highway after the car failed to avoid a vehicle parked on the left side, partially in the roadway, damaging both cars but causing no injuries.
It was the first known such crash in China, though it follows a fatal accident in Florida earlier this year that put pressure on the auto executives and regulators to tighten rules for automated driving.
“At Tesla we are continuously making improvements, including to translations,” a Tesla spokeswoman said in an emailed statement to Reuters.
“We’ve been in the process of addressing any discrepancies across languages for many weeks. Timing had nothing to do with current events or articles.”
References to autopilot and the term “zidong jiashi”, which most literally translates as self-driving although also means autopilot, were taken off the webpage for the Model S sedan by late Sunday, according to a comparison with an archived version of page. Both terms previously appeared several times on the site. Instead a phrase that translates as ‘self-assisted driving’ is used.