Following claims by consumer and safety advocacy groups that an advertisement for the 2017 E-class sedan could mislead consumers, Mercedes-Benz has withdrawn the commercial.
The ad included a sequence on “Drive Pilot,” an optional driver-assist feature that provides adaptive cruise control and automated steering capabilities.
In a letter submitted to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, former National Highway Traffic Safety Administration administrator Joan Claybrook and leaders of Consumer Reports, the Center for Auto Safety and the Consumer Federation of America maintained that the ad did not comply with the NHTSA’s definition of a self-driving vehicle and that it would give consumers a false sense of security.
While the ad contained the text “Vehicle cannot drive itself, but has automated driving features,” the advocates said that the fine print alone violated FTC terms that prevent an advertiser from making statements that would “clear up false impressions the ad might leave.”
On Thursday afternoon, dropped the ad from the E-class campaign rotation.
In a statement, Mercedes spokeswoman Donna Boland indicated that “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.”