In recent regulatory filings, the automotive company stated that it received requests for information from several agencies under the Biden administration, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the DOJ, as well as other local, state, federal, and international agencies.
“We routinely cooperate with such regulatory and governmental requests, including subpoenas, formal and informal requests and other investigations and inquiries,” Tesla stated.
The company noted that it received subpoenas from the SEC “in connection with Elon Musk’s prior statement that he was considering taking Tesla private.” That case has since been resolved and closed, it added. The SEC also requested information regarding “governance processes” related to its settlement with the agency.
Tesla noted that it has recently and separately received subpoenas from the DOJ for documents related to the company’s Autopilot and FSD features.
“Additionally, the Company has received requests for information, including subpoenas from the DOJ, regarding certain matters associated with personal benefits, related parties, vehicle range and personnel decisions,” the company said.
“To our knowledge no government agency in any ongoing investigation has concluded that any wrongdoing occurred,” Tesla continued. “We cannot predict the outcome or impact of any ongoing matters. Should the government decide to pursue an enforcement action, there exists the possibility of a material adverse impact on our business, results of operation, prospects, cash flows, financial position or brand.”
In October 2022, Reuters revealed that the DOJ had started investigating Tesla over claims that its vehicles can drive themselves. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has also been investigating the company for more than two years due to more than a dozen accidents in which Tesla vehicles struck stationary emergency vehicles.
Tesla’s website says its Autopilot features still “require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous.” However, the company’s FSD capability allows for “full self-driving” with “no action required by the person in the driver’s seat.”
“The future use of these features without supervision is dependent on achieving reliability far in excess of human drivers as demonstrated by billions of miles of experience, as well as regulatory approval, which may take longer in some jurisdictions. As these self-driving capabilities are introduced, your car will be continuously upgraded through over-the-air software updates,” the website notes.
Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that the SEC filed a lawsuit against Tesla CEO Elon Musk for refusing to testify in the agency’s investigation into his acquisition of Twitter in 2022. The SEC launched a probe in April 2022 into whether Musk violated securities laws related to his purchase of shares in the social media company.
In August, the DOJ filed a lawsuit against Musk’s SpaceX, alleging the company refused to hire refugees and those granted asylum.
Musk called the lawsuit “yet another case of weaponization of the DOJ for political purposes.”
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