Tesla, Elon Musk’s premium electric vehicle manufacturer, was investigated by the FCC over their new mass-market electric sedan, the Model 3. Although the investigation took place last year, news of its existence has only materialized today. According to documents unearthed by the Probes Reporter, in a filing dated June 7, the SEC stated that Tesla “may have been or may be making false statements of material fact or failing to disclose material facts concerning” the Model 3.
This could constitute a violation of the Securities and Exchange Act, Jalopnik reports.
During the investigation, the SEC subpoenaed Tesla for documents related to reservations for the Model 3. They also wanted information about production times, refunds, the way deposits will be utilized, and cancellations. As Jalopnik notes, the SEC also targetted a report by Goldman Sachs that came out mere hours before Tesla’s $2 billion stock offering in May, 2016. Goldman Sachs was the main underwriter of the stock offering.
As The Dealbreaker reported, on May 18, 2016, Goldman Sachs equity analysts chose to “upgrade” Tesla before the Model 3 launch and said that they would be “putting in our reservation for the Model 3.” This report now seems prejudicial when you consider that they later joined Morgan Stanley to underwrite the $2 billion stock offering. According to The Dealbreaker, the timing was so questionable that Goldman Sachs had to justify their research and avoid demands for regulators to investigate the report.
However, the SEC decided to not take any enforcement action against Tesla Inc. But they stipulated that this does not mean that the company has been “exonerated” and that no further action could be taken in the future. The investigation ended in May of this year.
Probes Reporter has added that it filed a Freedom of Information Act on this story and were told that additional records could not be revealed because of “law enforcement grounds.” According to Probes, this could be an indication that there could another ongoing SEC probe.
As Electrek reports, the production issues that plagued the Tesla Model 3 are improving faster than anyone had predicted. According to Electrek, some Tesla suppliers are saying that Model 3 production is progressing quickly and they have received instructions from the company to stick to their goals of 5,000 units per week during December. Also, as Inquisitr has reported, Model 3 non-employee reservation holders have started receiving their cars.