Mercedes Yanks Ad Touting Self-Driving Car

July 29, 2016, 11:25 AM UTC
Buick And Mercedes Benz Reveal New Models Ahead Of N. American Int'l Auto Show
DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 10: Mercedes introduces their new E-Class during a media preview before the start of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) on January 10, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. The show is open to the public from January 16-24.
Photograph by Scott Olson — Getty Images

Mercedes-Benz has withdrawn an advertisement touting the self-driving qualities of its new E-Class model in the United States, Automotive News reported, following allegations from consumer groups that the claims were misleading.

Earlier this week, U.S.-based Consumer Reports urged the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to scrutinize Mercedes’ “The Future” campaign, which markets automated driving features available in the new E-Class.

Mercedes, part of Daimler AG (DDAIF), rejected the allegation that the ad was misleading.

Automotive News said late Thursday Mercedes had since taken the ad “out of campaign rotation” in the United States.

“We do not want any potential confusion in the marketplace to detract from the giant step forward in vehicle safety the 2017 E-Class represents,” Automotive News quoted Mercedes spokeswoman Donna Boland as saying.

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Mercedes in Germany was not immediately able to verify the remarks made by the spokeswoman in the United States.

Earlier this week, consumer groups warned car buyers not to rely too heavily on a new generation of sophisticated cruise control systems, which use computers and sensors to automatically keep in lane and brake, following a fatal crash by a Tesla (TSLA) car operating in “autopilot” mode.

The ensuing investigation of the Tesla accident by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has increased scrutiny of automated driving technology and the marketing claims made by carmakers seeking to push sales.

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