According to a report by the Wall Street Journal published Monday afternoon, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating whether Tesla Motors should have disclosed the nature and circumstances of a recent fatal crash to investors earlier than it did. By SEC rules, companies must report “material” events to shareholders, although auto companies do not generally report individual car crashes to investors.
Still, this particular crash has earned so much attention because it involves the first fatality in a car running autonomous functions (although Tesla cautions in its user manual that autopilot features do not make the car fully autonomous and car owners still bear the responsibility for driving the car). The victim was a 40-year-old Tesla owner who crashed into a left-turning truck on a Florida highway in early May.
“A person familiar with the matter” told the WSJ that “the SEC’s inquiry is in a very early stage and may not lead to any enforcement action by regulators.”
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