Elon Musk Faces SEC Investigation Over Tesla's 'Self-Driving' Claims: Report

Tesla's advice about Autopilot cars and the company's videos appear to give very different messages.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s role in “shaping” the company’s claims on “self-driving” cars, Bloomberg reported Friday.

Sources told Bloomberg that the review is part of an investigation into Tesla’s statements about its Autopilot driver assistance system. The “veracity” of Musk’s messaging on the issue is particularly important under the SEC’s rules, Bloomberg noted.

SEC officials are considering whether Musk may have “inappropriately made forward-looking statements” about self-driving cars, a source told Bloomberg. It’s unclear what action the SEC could take if it reached that conclusion.

Though the Tesla website cautions that drivers must first agree to “keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times” before “enabling Autopilot,” a video on the Tesla Autopilot website shows a driver tooling around town with his hands in his lap.

A message notes that the “person in the driver’s seat is only there for legal reasons. He is not doing anything. The car is driving itself.

Bloomberg reported last week that Musk played an important role in creating another 2016 video that “may have exaggerated the technology’s capabilities.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched an investigation into the Tesla Autopilot system in 2021, examining crashes in which the system was engaged. The probe is ongoing.

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