Tesla (TSLA) reveals DOJ has ramped up investigation with subpoenas

Tesla has revealed that the Department of Justice has ramped up its investigation into the company with subpoenas relating to several matters.

Lately, there have been several media reports about government agencies investigating Tesla regarding several different matters.

In its quarterly SEC reports, Tesla has to report contacts with government agencies regarding any possible investigations, and it has disclosed “requests for information” from the DOJ in the last few reports, especially regarding “documents related to Tesla’s Autopilot and FSD features.”

Now, with the release of its latest SEC quarterly report, Tesla confirms that the DOJ investigation has ramped up with subpoenas and is expanding beyond FSD and Autopilot:

Separately, the Company has received requests for information, including subpoenas, from the DOJ. These have included requests for documents related to Tesla’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. To our knowledge no government agency in any ongoing investigation has concluded that any wrongdoing occurred. 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.

Subpoenas generally involve compelling someone’s testimony or the release of evidence.

The new added matters of “personal benefits and related parties,” likely have to do with the reported glass house project for Elon Musk.

“Vehicle range and personnel decisions” are also new. Tesla has been accused of inflating its range recently.

As for the “personnel decisions,” that’s anyone’s guess, but Tesla investors and analysts have been worried about the recent sudden departure of CFO Zack Kirkhorn.

Electrek’s Take

This could all turn out to be nothing, but it could also be something. CEO Elon Musk has often made his disdain for regulations clear, and Tesla has been known to push boundaries and cut corners sometimes.

It has been pretty good at staying on the right side of the law for the most part, but it’s not impossible that it could have overstepped at some point.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.

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