Tesla's semi-autonomous driver assistance suites are also under investigation by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
Tesla has received an increase in requests regarding Autopilot and Full Self-Driving functionality from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the company revealed in its 10-Q report for Q3.
For years, the features and functionalities of both Autopilot and Full Self-Driving have been under intense scrutiny from government organizations like the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), which has opened several probes to investigate the semi-autonomous driver assistance suites. It appears the DOJ has also ramped up efforts investigations of both Autopilot and Full Self-Driving.
The Earnings Call was one of the more glum in recent memory as CEO Elon Musk highlighted unfavorable macroeconomic conditions analysts described as a “mini disaster.”
Tesla said in the 10-Q:
“Separately, the company has received requests for information, including subpoenas, from the DOJ. These have included requests for documents related to Tesla’s Autopilot and FSD features. Additionally, the company has received requests for information, including subpoenas from the DOJ, regarding certain matters associated with personal benefits, related parties, vehicle range and personnel decisions. To our knowledge no government agency in any ongoing investigation has concluded that any wrongdoing occurred. We cannot predict the outcome or impact of any ongoing matters. Should the government decide to pursue an enforcement action, there exists the possibility of a material adverse impact on our business, results of operation, prospects, cash flows, financial position or brand.”
Tesla was clear no wrongdoing had been found by any agency. However, there is the potential for negative impacts on the company from these investigations.
The NHTSA ramped up its investigation into Autopilot in late August by sending a special order to Tesla in regard to a preliminary evaluation first opened in August 2021.