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Musk again slams SEC over tweet about Tesla auto production

By Nicholas Sakelaris
Tesla CEO Elon Musk's tweet about auto production drew the attention of the SEC. File Photo by Joe Marino-Bill Cantrell/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/5e170ad985754d97d829de2b4d094f8e/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Tesla CEO Elon Musk's tweet about auto production drew the attention of the SEC. File Photo by Joe Marino-Bill Cantrell/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk could be held in contempt of court for violating a settlement agreement over what regulators say is an inaccurate Twitter post.

Musk's Feb. 19 tweet said, "Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019." About four hours later, he tweeted a clarification, saying the electric automaker will produce 10,000 cars a week and deliveries for the year will be about 400,000 in 2019.

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a request with a federal judge Monday that said Musk violated a settlement he agreed to in October over a separate post last summer.

"Musk did not seek or receive pre-approval to publishing this tweet, which was inaccurate and disseminated to over 24 million people," the agency said in the filing.

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Musk initially got into trouble with the SEC with an Aug. 7 tweet in which he said he would take Tesla private if the share price reached $420. It also said he'd already secured funding. As part of the settlement, the SEC fined Musk $20 million, forced him to step down as Tesla's chairman and required company officials to pre-approve Musk's communications, including tweets.

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Musk said late Monday the SEC didn't read the transcript of Tesla's fourth quarter earnings call last month. During the call, Musk said Tesla would "maybe" make 350,000 to 500,000 Model 3 cars this year. He's arguing that the information in the tweet had already been publicly disclosed.

"How embarrassing," Musk said of the SEC.

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In December, Musk said, "I want to be clear. I do not respect the SEC."

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