Categories: Tech News

Misleading claims? Elon Musk led Tesla Faces US CRIMINAL Probe

US prosecutors are investigating whether Elon Musk Tesla Inc. made misleading claims.

US prosecutors are investigating whether Tesla Inc. made misleading claims about the capabilities of its Autopilot driver assistance system, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The Justice Department’s offices in Washington and San Francisco are investigating statements by the electric car company and its executives about the ability of Tesla cars to drive themselves, said the person, who asked not to be named discussing the investigation. . The Justice Department declined to comment and Tesla representatives did not respond to requests for comment on the investigation, which was first reported by Reuters.

Tesla has faced increasing scrutiny from US regulators over the safety of its self-driving systems and is set for its first jury trial in February over a driver-at-fault death on Autopilot . The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been investigating the feature and has demanded answers from the company about how it monitors and enforces driver engagement and attention, including the use of in-car cameras.

The Justice Department’s criminal investigation remains ongoing and may not result in charges. The investigation began last year, according to the person.

The criminal investigation into claims about Autopilot is not the only ongoing Justice Department investigation related to Tesla or its executives, the person said.

Meanwhile, the feature has been a big part of the company’s marketing materials and a boon to campaigns to attract customers.

In June, CEO Elon Musk told a Tesla owners club that solving self-driving technology is “really the difference between Tesla being worth a lot of money and being worth basically zero.”

In addition to the Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission is also investigating Tesla’s claims about its Autopilot system, the person said. SEC investigations can lead to fines for companies or individuals the agency accuses of violating its rules.

The regulator declined to comment on the investigation, which was first reported Thursday by the Wall Street Journal.

Over the years, Musk and Tesla have tangled with the securities regulator. In a high-profile case in 2018, Tesla’s CEO agreed to pay a $20 million fine, step down as chairman and clear up future tweets about the automaker from an internal monitor after the SEC investigate comments on the company’s privatization planning.


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