Tesla's marketing of its autopilot feature has come under mounting scrutiny in recent months amid a string of crashes linked to the technology. Autopilot is designed to keep a Tesla vehicle driving at a certain speed and within the lane markings, without crashing into other vehicles. But in the case of one recent crash in Beijing, the driver-assist feature could not prevent a Tesla from scraping against the side of a vehicle parked by the side of the road.
Tesla says the driver did not have his hands on the wheel, something the company urges before it allows drivers to enable autopilot. The driver claims that Tesla overpromised on the autopilot's capabilities.
On Monday, Reuters reported that Tesla had scrubbed the word "autopilot" from its Chinese website the night before, drawing a link between the two events. But Tesla denied the connection, saying it had been working on "addressing any discrepancies across languages for many weeks."
Still, it's unclear why or how the mistake that canned "autopilot" occurred. Tesla did not respond to a request for further explanations.
Tesla has been one of the few automakers working on driver automation to experience such high-profile crashes. An accident in May killed a Florida driver when his Tesla, which was under autopilot at the time, hit the side of a truck. In recent months, drivers have blamed Tesla's automatic features for several incidents, although autopilot does not appear to have been enabled in some cases.