Tesla CEO Elon Musk is facing scrutiny from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over his specific comments and efforts to boost the automaker’s claims about its “self-driving” capabilities. Bloomberg reports. The SEC investigation into Musk is part of an overall effort to determine whether Tesla violated regulations in promoting its FSD and Autopilot offerings.

The SEC does not typically comment on any ongoing investigation before a lawsuit is formally filed, and specifically did not comment on this case. But recent revelations may explain why Musk is in their crosshairs when it comes to Tesla “self-driving” technology: Last week, testimony from a senior engineer on a team working on Tesla’s Autopilot software revealed a video the company released in 2016. Tesla was actually staged to show the car driving itself. Reporting by Bloomberg later revealed that the video was overseen and directed by Musk.

Of course, the SEC’s domain is not securities claims, but it does take issue with forward-looking claims made by public companies or company executives making false or misleading claims. Clearly that’s what they’re worried about here – Musk has often suggested that the FSD will essentially achieve driver-free navigation capabilities in timelines that haven’t proven accurate.

Depending on what the SEC determines after its investigation, we could see lawsuits or other consequences for Musk, including limitations on his future activities as a public company officer if they choose to enforce any violations they find.


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