Elon Musk is back in trouble with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after tweeting about Tesla production numbers.
After reaching a $40m settlement last year over his infamous ‘taking Tesla private’ tweet, the billionaire agreed to have any tweet that could potentially affect Tesla stock vetted by a lawyer.
But Musk recently tweeted that Tesla plans to make ‘around 500k’ cars in 2019, when the actual number is closer to 400k.
Now the SEC is pursuing him for contempt of court.
Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 20, 2019
Elon quickly added another tweet within hours to clarify his comments.
‘Meant to say annualized production rate at end of 2019 probably around 500k, ie 10k cars/week,’ he wrote.
‘Deliveries for year still estimated to be about 400k.’
The Tesla Roadster (Tesla)According to the SEC, Musk acknowledged he didn’t get company approval for the first tweet but argued he didn’t need clearance because he was basing it on information disclosed in January.
The Commission has still made a contempt filing and Tesla shares were down 5% in after-hours trading in New York as a result.
Elon Musk speech at the groundbreaking ceremony of Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory in 2019 (Rex Features)‘Musk has thus violated the Court’s Final Judgment by engaging in the very conduct that the preapproval provision of the Final Judgment was designed to prevent,’ the SEC said.
If the contempt filing is upheld by a judge, then Musk could face another hefty fine and potentially even jail time.
Tesla has not yet issued a statement on the matter.