Tesla says has not received subpoena on Model 3 production

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FILE PHOTO: A Tesla charging station is seen in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S., September 28, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

(Reuters) – Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) has not received a subpoena from the U.S. Department of Justice related to its forecast for Model 3 production, the carmaker said on Friday, after a report that the company was facing a deepening criminal probe about the projections.

The company received a voluntary request for documents from the DoJ and was cooperative in responding to it, a Tesla spokesperson said.

“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,” the spokesperson said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is examining whether Tesla misstated information about the production of its Model 3 sedans and misled investors about its business going back to early 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The news comes as Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk faces pressure to deliver consistent production numbers for the Model 3, seen as crucial to its profitability and ability to be a high-volume car manufacturer.

Musk and Tesla have only recently settled with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which was probing Musk’s Aug. 7 tweets about taking Tesla private. The SEC had called his claims “false and misleading” and accused him of fraud last month.

On Wednesday, the company reported strong third-quarter financial results, delivering on Musk’s promise to turn the electric car maker profitable as higher production volumes of its new Model 3 began to pay off.

Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Sai Sachin Ravikumar

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