Germany denies investigating Tesla over software updates

Fri Jul 8, 2016 3:25pm EDT
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By Michael Nienaber and Rene Wagner

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's Transport Ministry denied a media report on Friday that it was investigating Tesla Motors Inc for updating driving assistance software without informing authorities, but said it was "clarifying technical issues" on the matter.

German magazine Der Spiegel reported, without citing a source, that there were indications Tesla uploaded new software features to a driving assistance system which had not been examined for security during regular approval proceedings.

The ministry therefore launched an investigation, it added.

"The report is incorrect," a ministry spokesman said. "There are no investigation proceedings against Tesla.

"We are clarifying the technical issues," the ministry spokesman added. "At the moment, it is a normal gathering of information on the status quo between the Federal Office for Motor Vehicles (KBA) and the ministry."

A spokesperson for Tesla in Germany said it is cooperating with the KBA car watchdog, an agency that reports to the Transport Ministry in Berlin.

"We are fully aware that the KBA is investigating Tesla Autopilot components and we are cooperative in every aspect," the spokesperson said.

A Tesla spokeswoman later said that by "investigating", they meant that German authorities were reviewing certain components.   Continued...

A Tesla logo adorns a 'Model S' car in the dealership in Berlin, Germany, November 18, 2015. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke