The Center for Auto Safety joined Consumer Watchdog in a request to the Federal Trade Commission and some state attorneys general to investigate Tesla Inc.'s Autopilot driver-assist system.
In a press release Thursday, the center accused Tesla of "making their owners believe that a Tesla with 'Autopilot' is an autonomous vehicle capable of self-driving."
"To be clear, it is not," the statement said. "Center for Auto Safety and Consumer Watchdog warned that Tesla's representations of its Autopilot feature continue to violate Section 5 of the FTC Act, as well as similar state statutes."
The release refers to a fatal accident in March, in which a Tesla Model 3 collided with a semitrailer 10 seconds after the Autopilot system was engaged.
A similar request by the center last year followed a 2016 fatal accident involving a former Navy Seal using the system in his Model S at the time of the crash.
In 2016, then-German Minister of Transportation Alexander Dobrindt wrote a letter to Tesla asking the company to stop using the term "Autopilot" for the assist system, Reuters reported at the time.
A survey by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found almost half of consumer participants thought it would be safe to take one's hands off the wheel while using Tesla's Autopilot system.
Tesla continues to stand by the product.
"New active safety features built on our Autopilot and Full Self-Driving (FSD) hardware and software suite contributed to this achievement," Tesla stated in its second-quarter update.
Autopilot "is not intended to be hands free," IIHS President David Harkey told Automotive News in an interview in June. "Even though Tesla makes that very clear in the manual, that message is not being conveyed to all users."
"What is particularly sad here is that instead of believing in the advanced cruise control technology the company has developed Tesla continues to make unsupportable claims that seem intended to deceive and certainly put people's lives in danger," Jason Levine, director of the Center for Auto Safety, wrote in an email to Automotive News.
Tesla did not immediately respond to requests for comment.