According to documents filed yesterday in the Southern District of New York, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is asking a federal judge to hold Tesla CEO Elon Musk in contempt for a recent tweet, The Verge reports.
The tweet in question: Last week, Musk said that Tesla was going to produce half a million cars in 2019. In a follow up posted roughly four and half hours later, Musk corrected himself, tweeting that he meant the “annualized production rate at the end of 2019” while total production is closer to 400,000 cars.
Meant to say annualized production rate at end of 2019 probably around 500k, ie 10k cars/week. Deliveries for year still estimated to be about 400k.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 20, 2019
Tesla ended up settling with the SEC in October, agreeing that Musk would step down as Tesla chairman for at least three years and that his tweets would be monitored.
But that monitoring system seems to have faltered.
After SEC filed the documents yesterday, Musk followed up in a tweet: “SEC forgot to read Tesla earnings transcript, which clearly states 350k to 500k. How embarrassing…”
It’s not yet clear if Musk actually violated the agreement between Tesla and the SEC. The Verge suggested that Musk will likely be fined.
Musk’s opinion is clear on the matter. In a response on Twitter, he argued that Musk’s Feb. 19 tweet didn’t move markets. “This has now happened several times. Something is broken with SEC oversight.”
Shares of Tesla were down nearly 2.5 percent in premarket trading today, CNBC reports.