The US government is reportedly looking into whether aggressive production targets for the Tesla Model 3 were misleading for investors.
Sources have told The Wall Street Journal the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) is investigating whether the electric car maker misled investors with its ambitious production targets for the Model 3.
The FBI has reportedly asked for information from and issued subpoenas to several Tesla employees regarding this issue.
When Model 3 was launched in mid-2017, the company said it planned to have production up to 5,000 cars per week by the end of the year. This target was pushed back several times until the company finally hit the target in June this year.
“We have not received a subpoena, a request for testimony, or any other formal process, and there have been no additional document requests about this from the Department of Justice for months,” a Tesla spokesperson told the newspaper.
These latest moves have been made as part of the Department of Justice's (DOJ) investigation into Tesla, which arose from the CEO Elon Musk's claims in August about having secured funding to take the company private.
The company recently reached a deal with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to end its investigation into the affair. As part of the settlement, Tesla and Musk each had to pay a fine of US$20 million ($28 million), while the outspoken CEO also agreed to relinquish his position as the company's chairman.
Last week, Tesla celebrated a good news week when it announced a third quarter profit of US$312 million (US$440 million) on the back on strong sales of the Model 3 sedan. It was the first time the company has turned a profit since 2016.
According to the company's figures, 22,250 Model 3 sedans were delivered in the US in September, making it the 13th most popular vehicle for the month, well behind the top-selling Ford F-Series (75,092), but not too far adrift from the ninth-placed Honda Civic (24,806) and 10th-placed Jeep Cherokee (23,836).