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The Federal Bureau of Investigation is reportedly deepening a criminal investigation into Tesla to determine if the electric automaker misstated production information regarding its Model 3 sedan and thus, misled investors.
Sources reportedly familiar with the matter tell The Wall Street Journal that the investigation is looking back as far as early 2017.
The investigation is being led by the U.S. attorney’s office in San Francisco, the Journal notes, and has intensified in recent weeks.
“Earlier this year, Tesla received a voluntary request for documents from the Department of Justice about its public guidance for the Model 3 ramp and we were cooperative in responding to it,” a Tesla representative told Business Insider. “We have not received a subpoena, a request for testimony, or any other formal process, and there have been no additional document requests about this from the Department of Justice for months.”
“When we started the Model 3 production ramp, we were transparent about how difficult it would be,” the representative continued. "Ultimately, given difficulties that we did not foresee in this first-of-its-kind production ramp, it took us six months longer than we expected to meet our 5,000 unit per week guidance.”
Looks like we can reach 20,000 Model 3 cars per month in Dec— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 3, 2017
Musk said on Twitter in July 2017 that it looked like they could produce 20,000 Model 3 cars per month by December. As Business Insider notes, however, Tesla only turned out 2,685 Model 3 vehicles that year.
News of the investigation comes just weeks after Tesla chief Elon Musk settled a separate suit with the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding tweets he made in August about taking the company private.
Lead image courtesy Bloomberg