Feds Reportedly Investigating Tesla for Fraud Related to Self-Driving Claims

Feds Reportedly Investigating Tesla for Fraud Related to Self-Driving Claims

Tesla is reportedly under federal investigation again for claims made about its Autopilot and Full Self-Driving systems.

U.S. regulators are looking into whether Tesla committed securities or wire fraud, according to a report from Reuters on Wednesday. At the center of this probe are claims made about Tesla vehicle’s self-driving feature and whether those claims mislead investors and consumers. The Department of Justice (DOJ) is reportedly looking into unspecified statements Elon Musk made suggesting the cars drive themselves. This is the first time we’ve heard which specific crimes are allegedly under investigation.

According to Reuters:

Investigators are exploring whether Tesla committed wire fraud, which involves deception in interstate communications, by misleading consumers about its driver-assistance systems, the sources said. They are also examining whether Tesla committed securities fraud by deceiving investors, two of the sources said.

The DOJ and Securities and Exchange Commission declined to comment.Tesla didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tesla is no stranger to federal probes over its self-driving system. Last month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it would investigate the company over its recall of more than 2 million vehicles with Autopilot. Since that recall, more than 20 Tesla vehicles using Autopilot have been involved in crashes, according to the Verge. Last October, Tesla confirmed that the DOJ filed a subpoena for more information about Tesla’s self-driving features.

Musk recently made remarks regarding Tesla’s push for more autonomous vehicles in the company’s latest earnings call. For years, he’s been pushing the idea of Tesla owners letting their cars act as robotaxis when not in use. Musk says a fleet of robotaxis is just months away, and he promoted the idea on his recent trip to China, but the Tesla CEO is no stranger to big claims. According to him, a SpaceX mission should be landing on Mars in a couple of years.

While Tesla insists that its vehicles need to be supervised by the driver, Musk has made statements in the past about getting rid of those pesky notifications telling drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel when Autopilot is engaged. It appears he is changing his tune as a tweet from the Tesla CEO on Tuesday made sure to emphasize the word “supervised” when referring to the company’s self-driving feature.

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