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Feb 13, 2020

Tesla fields fresh SEC inquiry after another investigation ends

David Driscoll discusses Tesla

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Tesla Inc. isn’t yet in the clear with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

On Dec. 4, the same day the agency closed its second investigation into the electric-car maker in as many years, the SEC sent a subpoena seeking information on a fresh set of matters, Tesla disclosed in a regulatory filing Thursday. The regulator is looking into “certain financial data and contracts including Tesla’s regular financing arrangements,” according to the company.

The investigation the SEC closed in December related to projections and public statements regarding Model 3 production rates. Earlier in 2019, the agency went to court with Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk over tweets he sent about how many cars the company would build for the year.

A judge forced the two sides to shore up a settlement reached in 2018 over claims Musk made during his short-lived efforts to take Tesla private.

Two days after the SEC issued the subpoena late last year, Tesla lost its third general counsel in a year. Jonathan Chang, who first joined the carmaker in 2011 and was elevated to the role in February, left Tesla to work for an artificial intelligence startup.