In 2019, he promised to produce 1,000 solar panels a week, and in 2020 he called Tesla’s stock price overpriced.
The SEC indicated to Tesla that Elon Musk’s tweets about the volume of production of solar roofs (batteries) Tesla and the value of its shares were published without prior approval from lawyers, writes The Wall Street Journal, citing the regulator’s correspondence with Tesla.
In May 2020, the SEC told Tesla that the company had failed to enforce procedures and monitor Musk’s tweets. Tesla, SEC and Musk did not respond to WSJ requests for comment.
The SEC questioned a tweet Musk wrote in July 2019. In it, Musk reported that Tesla wants to produce “about 1,000 solar roofs a week by the end of this year.”
In August 2019, the commission sent a letter of violation. Tesla responded that Musk did not submit the tweet for legal review, and later they considered it “completely desirable.”
On May 1, 2020, Tesla’s stock price fell after Musk called it overvalued.
After that, the SEC sent another letter to Tesla. The company replied that the tweet is Musk’s “personal opinion” and therefore does not require legal permission. The commission, however, considered that the tweet concerned the financial condition of the company and lawyers should have considered it.
In June 2020, the SEC told Tesla’s lawyers in a letter that it hopes to resolve the dispute without going to court. But the company and its lawyers “refused to engage in substantive dialogue about the May 1 tweet.”
According to the WSJ, the situation did not end with anything – Tesla objected to the SEC claims about the tweets, and the commission did not go to court. In its latest letter in June 2020, the regulator called for measures to control disclosure of information and prevent “further harm to shareholders.”
- In 2018, the SEC accused Elon Musk of fraud and asked the court to remove him from Tesla’s management. The regulator’s claims were related to Musk’s statement about plans to make Tesla a private company: he wrote about it on Twitter. Musk later said that after investor requests, he changed his mind about buying back the shares.
- Musk agreed to step down as chairman of Tesla’s board of directors and pay the company a $ 40 million fine. The company also had to introduce “additional control measures” over Musk’s messages on social networks.
- In February 2019, the SEC sued Musk and accused him of misleading shareholders. The commission also found that he did not seek legal advice before tweeting. After that, Musk agreed not to disclose Tesla’s plans and performance on social networks without the approval of a lawyer.
- In April 2021, a Tesla investor filed a lawsuit against Elon Musk over “promiscuous” tweets and a violation of an agreement with the regulator.