Mercedes-Benz has pulled an advertising campaign for its 2017 E-Class after consumer advocacy groups claimed it oversold just how autonomous the car was.
The campaign, dubbed “The Future,” compared the E-Class to a future car capable of driving itself, when in fact the car’s autonomous capabilities are relegated to self-braking, -correcting and -parking, explains Reuters.
U.S.-based Consumer Reports magazine petitioned the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on July 27 to investigate the ads and its claims the E-Class was essentially self-driving.
“Is the world truly ready for a vehicle that can drive itself? An autonomous-thinking automobile that protects those inside and outside,” read the copy in the print version of the ad.
“Ready or not, the future is here. The all new E-Class: self-braking, self-correcting, self-parking. A Mercedes-Benz concept that’s already a reality.”
Consumer Reports’ letter to the FTC suggested the wording may encourage E-Class owners to rely on the vehicles’ semi-autonomous features instead of giving their driving their full attention.
“The ad is likely to mislead a reasonable consumer by representing the E-Class as self-driving when it is not,” Reuters quoted the letter.
While Mercedes-Benz initially stood by the ad, it later made the decision to pull the campaign because it had the “potential for confusion.”
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class can essentially drive itself for up to 30 seconds without driver intervention; however, at that point, if the driver does not put their hands back on the wheel, the car slows to a stop.