US Department Of Justice Probing Tesla On Vehicle Range
Tesla has revealed that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) has intensified its investigation into the company lately.
In its latest SEC quarterly report (via Electrek), the EV maker has confirmed that the DOJ investigation has expanded beyond Full Self-Driving and Autopilot to include subpoenas on vehicle range and other matters.
“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.”
This is the first time Tesla has acknowledged receiving subpoenas from the DOJ on these matters. The vehicle range issue likely has something to do with allegations that Tesla offers unrealistic EV range estimates on its vehicles.
A Reuters report published in late July claimed that Tesla created a secret team last summer with the aim of stifling thousands of driving range complaints from its customers. Several sources told the news agency that the company quietly created a “Diversion Team” in Las Vegas to cancel as many appointments related to range as possible.
Following the report, three Tesla owners in California have sued the automaker in a proposed class action over falsely advertising the estimated driving ranges of its EVs.
As for the matter regarding personal benefits, it may have something to do with Elon Musk’s reported glass house project. The Wall Street Journal reported in August that Manhattan prosecutors are investigating Tesla’s use of company funds on a project described internally as a house for Elon Musk.
In the SEC document, Tesla said no government agency found any misconduct yet. “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.”
Tesla said in the 10-Q form that it regularly receives requests from regulators and governmental authorities, such as the NHTSA, the NTSB, the SEC, the DOJ, and various 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 noted.
The company added that the DOJ has made several requests for information, including subpoenas, for documents related to Tesla’s Autopilot and FSD features. A subpoena is a legal document telling someone that they must attend a court of law and give evidence as a witness.
Source: Tesla Investor Relations via Electrek
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