Musk in more trouble over Tesla tweets

Tesla Should Not Have Lowered the Price of Autopilot Says Musk

Tesla Should Not Have Lowered the Price of Autopilot Says Musk

Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk shot back against USA securities regulators on Monday, arguing in a filing that his recent tweet about the electric vehicle maker's production volume did not violate his fraud settlement and he can not be held in contempt.

Mr Musk had been forced to explain to a federal judge why he should not be held in contempt over a tweet he sent on February 19, which the US Securities and Exchange Commission said violated an agreement limiting what he can say on social media without prior approval from the electric vehicle manufacturer.

The price reductions were offset in part when Tesla said on Sunday that it would raise by 3% the prices for all vehicles aside from the $35,000 base version of the Model 3. In it, Musk's lawyers claim the tweet didn't violate the terms of the SEC settlement at all and that Musk takes his obligations under the settlement more seriously than the SEC gives him credit for. Musk also said that Tesla was still closing some stores, despite whipsawing reports of closures, freezes, and stores remaining open, over the last two weeks.

FILE PHOTO: SpaceX founder Elon Musk looks on at a post-launch news conference after the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft, lifted off on an uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., March 2, 2019.

The renewed public battle between Tesla's chief executive and the SEC adds pressure on Musk, the public face of Tesla, who is struggling to make the company profitable after cutting the price of its Model 3 sedan to $35,000. The SEC called those tweets "false and misleading" and a go-private deal never materialized.

The renewed public battle between Tesla's chief executive and the top United States securities regulator adds pressure on Musk, the public face of Tesla, who is struggling to make the company profitable after cutting the price of its Model 3 sedan to US$35,000. He later corrected that tweet stating "Meant to say annualized production rate at end of 2019 probably around 500k, ie 10k cars/week". The executive has "dramatically reduced his volume of tweets generally and regarding Tesla in particular".

"This self-censorship is reflective of his commitment to adhering to the Order and avoiding unnecessary disputes with the SEC", they wrote in the filing.

A disclosure controls committee, made up of board members Brad Buss, Antonio Gracias and James Murdoch, was tasked with overseeing compliance with the new policy.