Tesla facing US fraud probe for Elon Musk’s misleading autopilot comments

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The US Department of Justice (DoJ) is looking into whether Tesla committed wire and securities fraud around CEO Elon Musk’s bold claims about its autopilot vehicle technology, Reuters first reported on Wednesday (8 May).

Tesla’s autopilot and full self-driving systems are able to assist with braking, steering and lane changes. However, the technology is not fully autonomous, which has led the name of the technology to receive criticism from experts who feel it is misleading to drivers.

In official company statements, Tesla noted that drivers need to stay alert and ready to take over driving in order to stay safe.

The DOJ is now investigating Musk’s statements suggesting that the company’s vehicles can be fully autonomous.

The criminal investigation, which was first reported by Reuters in October 2022, is examining whether Tesla executives misled investors and consumers by making untrue claims about their vehicle’s autonomous ability.

It is now understood that regulators are targeting specific charges of securities and wire fraud regarding Musk’s comments about Tesla’s autopilot.

Securities fraud involves a company misleading investors, while wire fraud involves a company deceiving customers in communications.

For many years, Musk has been pushing the boundaries of Tesla’s autopilot software’s autonomous ability.

In 2016, in a conference call with reporters, Musk described the software as “probably better” than a human driver.

In October 2022, Musk said that the software would allow drivers to travel “to your work, your friend’s house, to the grocery store without you touching the wheel.”

“Tesla facing US fraud probe for Elon Musk’s misleading autopilot comments” was originally created and published by Verdict, a GlobalData owned brand.

 

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