It seems that Elon Musk is all geared up to defend himself as his legal team responded on Monday to U.S. SEC’s request in a U.S. Federal Court to hold him in contempt over a tweet about the production capacity of Tesla, according to a report by TechCrunch.
“The Securities and Exchange Commission‘s request that Musk should be held in civil contempt for a single, immaterial tweet that dutifully complied with [a court-ordered settlement] is incorrect on the facts and on the law,” Tesla CEO’s lawyers said in a court filing late on Monday.
This whole issue started when Musk tweeted on February 20 that Tesla would produce 500,000 cars this year. Musk clarified in a tweet later that Tesla’s total production capacity for 2019 would be around 500,000, or 10,000 cars a week, but deliveries were estimated to be about 400,000.
Meant to say annualized production rate at end of 2019 probably around 500k, ie 10k cars/week. Deliveries for year still estimated to be about 400k.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 20, 2019
Elon Musk and the SEC share a long history of feud and there seems to be no love lost between the two. It all started in the month of August last year when Musk said that he had secured funding to take the company private and the SEC filed a complaint alleging securities fraud when Musk and Tesla rejected the offer of a settlement. Later in the month of September, a settlement was reached and Musk and Tesla were fined $20 million each. The US District Court for Southern New York approved the settlement in October.
Musk’s lawyer admitted the fact that no one at the company saw Musk’s tweet before he posted it on February 19 but they argued on Monday that there was no need for him to get the approval because the tweet contained information that has been in the public domain for quite some time and has been disclosed in multiple documents and discussed at length in an earnings call.
Elon Musk’s lawyers also reiterated the fact that Musk has reduced his volume of tweets regarding Tesla as per the settlement terms and has been following the terms set out in the settlement carefully.