Product Liability Directive and Software Updates of Automated Vehicles

Proceedings of SETN 2020 - 11th Hellenic Conference on Artificial Intelligence 2020

5 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2021

Date Written: November 11, 2020

Abstract

The EU Product Liability Directive (Directive 85/374/EEC - PLD) provides for strict liability of producers for defective products. This paper examines its applicability de lege lata and de lege ferenda to software updates of automated vehicles. It is concluded that to regard software updates as ‘products’ under the PLD entails many legal and practical challenges. These relate to the notion of ‘product’, the time that the update is put into circulation, the notion of ‘defect’, the burden of proof especially as to causation, and the calculation of time bars. Applying the PLD to software updates seems to create more problems than the ones the Directive is meant to solve. Therefore, it is submitted that the PLD is inapplicable both de lege lata and de legel ferenda to software updates. It is simpler and more logical to consider software updates of automated vehicles as a maintenance service.

Keywords: AI, product liability, torts, strict liability, EU law, Product Liability Directive, software updates

JEL Classification: K13, K42

Suggested Citation

Chatzipanagiotis, Michael P., Product Liability Directive and Software Updates of Automated Vehicles (November 11, 2020). Proceedings of SETN 2020 - 11th Hellenic Conference on Artificial Intelligence 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3759910

Michael P. Chatzipanagiotis (Contact Author)

University of Cyprus, Department of Law ( email )

1 University Avenue
Nicosia, Nicosia 2109
Cyprus

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