Tesla under investigation by SEC after fatal crash involving autopilot – report

The US Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether Tesla failed to disclose to investors a lethal crash involving its autopilot technology.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the SEC is scrutinizing whether the incident was “material” information that Tesla should have disclosed in a formal regulatory filing, though one source reportedly said the investigation may not lead to any kind of enforcement by the agency.

Joshua Brown died on 7 May when his Tesla Model S collided with a large truck crossing the highway in front of him in Williston, Florida. Brown, who died at the scene, was an avid fan of Tesla who had posted dozens of videos of himself using the car in its autopilot mode.

The car’s software notified Tesla of the crash, and Tesla reported it to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA has subsequently launched an investigation into self-driving technology and its role in the fatal crash, as well as broader issues related to the implementation of self-driving cars.

The SEC would not comment, and the NHTSA could not be reached for comment.

Tesla said in a statement: “Tesla has not received any communication from the SEC regarding this issue. Our blog post last week provided the relevant information about this issue.”

Last week, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk contested an article in Fortune that pointed out that Tesla and Musk had sold more than $2bn in Tesla stock before the news of the accident had been announced. Fortune claimed Musk had said the accident was “not material to the value of Tesla” and went on to describe the 1m deaths from cars worldwide every year.

“Please, take 5 mins and do the bloody math before you write an article that misleads the public.”

Musk later tweeted Fortune editor Alan Murray:

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