Just when it appeared that Tesla had turned the corner, U.S. securities agencies subpoenaed information about production forecasts made in 2017 about the Model 3. This revelation is in a required regulatory filing this week. Other public statements by Tesla officials (mostly Elon Musk) about the Model 3 are in play, as well.
Tesla formally made public the Securities and Exchange Commission subpoena. But, there have long been whispers about Tesla, the Model 3, and the feds.
Tesla’s plan with the Model 3 is to expand the company’s appeal. Now, a niche, high-income ride Musk wants a broader market. As such, it’s key to Tesla’s pledge to accumulate net profits in the future. Over the last two model years, Tesla has failed to produce the promised number of cars, which initiated a lawsuit from investors.
Then, as reported by the Wall Street Journal the FBI began a criminal investigation to determine whether Tesla misled investors about the volume of cars that it would be able to build.
Two months ago, Tesla settled its civil lawsuit over tweets created by Musk. The tweets alleged that he had funding in place to privatize the company. Musk and his company agreed to pony up $40 million to settle the case.
Tesla reported $311.5 million in profits for the June-August 2018 quarter, its first such profit in two years. During that period of time, the company built 4600 cars per week and 5,200 cars during the last week.
Just over a year ago, some Tesla shareholders filed another lawsuit against the company, this one in a federal court. That suit alleged that the company in general, and Musk in particular, repeatedly made false statements. They concerned the production of the Model 3. Further, that said false statements served to mislead investors. While the original complaint was summarily dismissed, it was refiled this September.
“We believe that the claims are without merit and intend to defend against this lawsuit vigorously,” the company said in its filing. Gildshire will continue to monitor the news as it breaks.