© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Representations of virtual currency Bitcoin are seen in front of Tesla logo in this illustration taken, February 9, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
By Subrat Patnaik and Akash Sriram
(Reuters) – Tesla (NASDAQ:) Inc said on Monday it received a subpoena from the U.S. securities regulator related to a settlement that required Chief Executive Elon Musk’s tweets on material information to be vetted.
The subpoena by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was issued on Nov. 16, some 10 days after Musk asked his Twitter (NYSE:) followers https:// he should sell 10% of his stake in the company, triggering a stock selloff.
As of last close, the electric-car maker’s shares had fallen by nearly a quarter since the tweet. The shares were down 1.4% at $909.98 on Monday morning.
The SEC’s latest action, which was disclosed in a securities filing by the automaker, adds to pressure on Tesla from federal auto safety regulators regarding vehicle recalls https://reut.rs/3J6zUFB and investigations related to its driver-assistance software. The SEC declined to comment.
In the filing, the company also said the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing investigated allegations of race discrimination and harassment in Tesla workplaces and gave notice that it has grounds to file a civil complaint against the electric-car maker.
Tesla has already been battling a series of lawsuits on racial abuse and sexual harassment, and a federal jury in October ordered the company to pay $137 million to a Black former contract worker in one of the cases.
Reuters reported last year that the SEC has opened an investigation into a whistleblower complaint that Tesla failed to properly notify its shareholders and the public of fire risks associated with solar panel system defects over several years.
Tesla said on Monday it “routinely” cooperates with government subpoenas and other investigations and inquiries.
Tesla in December https://reut.rs/3LecIHk was hit by a lawsuit over Musk’s social media posts including his Twitter poll on stock sales that pulled down the company’s share price. This was not the first lawsuit accusing https://reut.rs/3slo0Rh Musk of violating the settlement terms.
In 2018, Musk settled a lawsuit https:// by the SEC over his tweet on taking the company private, agreeing to have the company’s lawyers pre-approve tweets with material information about the company.
MUSK-WHITE HOUSE TENSION
Tesla and the White House have been at odds over the past few months, with the Biden administration focusing on legacy automakers including Ford Motor (NYSE:) Co and General Motors (NYSE:) in the electric vehicle race.
Last month, GM and Ford’s CEOs attended a meeting of tech and auto companies hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden. Musk was not on the list of attendees.
Musk has been using his Twitter account to attack the Biden administration for allegedly ignoring Tesla and holding up Detroit automakers…
Read More: Tesla receives subpoena from U.S. securities regulator over 2018