Tesla Subpoenaed By SEC Over Model 3 Production Forecast

Will more fines be on the way?

Tesla has recently been issued a subpoena by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), due to “certain projections” that the company made when forecasting production volume for the Model 3.

The SEC and DOJ have been investigating Tesla from February 2018, the Wall Street Journal has revealed (in October) that the FBI is now involved. Last month, Tesla made it clear that they had not been subpoenaed, that has since changed. After Tesla’s Q3 report last Friday, the subpoena was put in place. 

On the investors side of the Tesla website, the 10Q explains this: “The SEC has issued subpoenas to Tesla in connection with (a) Mr. Musk’s prior statement that he was considering taking Tesla private and (b) certain projections that we made for Model 3 production rates during 2017 and other public statements relating to Model 3 production. The DoJ [Department of Justice] has also asked us to voluntarily provide it with information about each of these matters and is investigating,”.

Tesla have also stated that “to our knowledge no government agency in any ongoing investigation has concluded any wrongdoing occurred”. Tesla also states that it will continue to cooperate with the ongoing investigations with government authorities.

The company also acknowledged that it is subject to “other legal proceedings”, which is referring to short-sellers taking the company to court following from Musk’s “funding secured” tweet.

The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department Of Justice are investigating Tesla because of claims made on production estimates made by Musk. Musk said that Tesla would be making up to 5,000 Model 3’s a week by the end of 2017.. in actuality Tesla ended up producing only 2,700 Model 3’s across the whole of 2017. Tesla then hit the production target of 5,000 Model 3’s a week in June 2018.

The FBI is investigating this as a criminal investigation, but it is still in its infancy. Reports are stating that the FBI had only started contacting former Tesla employees last week to interview them.