The tweet troubles just keep on coming for Tesla boss Elon Musk, with the American Securities and Exchange Commission asking a district court find the Twitter-happy leader in contempt.
On Monday, American time, the SEC asked a district court judge to hold Musk in contempt following a series of tweets he'd made about Tesla vehicle deliveries in 2019.
On February 19, Musk had written that Tesla had delivered zero cars in 2011, but will make "around 500,000" in 2019. He clarified that statement, again on Twitter, around four hours later, writing: "Meant to say annualised production rate at end of 2019 probably around 500k, ie 10k cars/week. Deliveries for year still estimated to be about 400k."
But the SEC says the tweets violate a settlement reached just months ago that demands Musk seek Tesla approval for posts that could impact investors or the company's share price.
That action stemmed from a Musk Tweet in August 2018, in which he said he had secured the funding to take Tesla private at $420 a share.
The announcement sparked an increase in Tesla’s share price before Musk announced the company would be staying public. A subsequent investigation found Musk's Tweets were "false and misleading statements".
Musk has been given until March 11th to explain why he shouldn't be held in contempt.
American media outlet Automotive News reports that Musk could now be barred from running Tesla - or any other publicly listed company - for a number of years as a result his most recent tweets.
"Having your CEO in contempt of an SEC action is a pretty bad thing," Charles Elson, the director of the John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance at the University of Delaware, told the outlet.
"They settled with him and within a few months he’s back to doing similar things. It’s unbelievable."
Musk has since denied wrongdoing on Twitter, saying that Tesla's production outlook was public knowledge, and labelling the SEC action "embarrassing".
"SEC forgot to read Tesla earnings transcript, which clearly states 350k to 500k. How embarrassing," he wrote.
"Something is broken with SEC oversight."
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