U.S. stock market regulators are investigating Elon Musk’s role in shaping Tesla Inc.’s self-driving vehicle claims, the latest effort by watchdogs to scrutinize the actions of the world’s second-richest person.
The review is part of an ongoing Securities and Exchange Commission probe of the company’s statements about its Autopilot driver-assistance system, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified discussing aspects of the investigation that haven’t been disclosed.
As Tesla’s CEO, the veracity of Musk’s comments carry particular heft under the agency’s rules. The SEC declined to comment. Musk and his attorney Alex Spiro didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Musk is already clashing with the SEC on several fronts. But, the regulator’s Autopilot review directly touches on a business priority that Musk has singled out as crucial to Tesla’s future.
SEC officials are weighing whether Musk may have inappropriately made forward-looking statements, said the person. An investigation by the agency’s enforcement unit doesn’t always lead to consequences, but can result in lawsuits, fines or other civil penalties for companies and executives.