Elon Musk and Twitter. Name a more iconic duo; I will wait. It seems that Musk’s problems arising from his tweeting habits aren’t coming to an end. In October 2018, Elon Musk faced a fine of $20 million and had to quit his position as Tesla’s chairman after SEC found his tweet about taking Tesla private, misleading.
A settlement was reached according to which Musk requires to get his social media activity pre-approved if it contains any information that could be “material” to shareholders.
Elon Musk tweeted on February 19th: “Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019.”
Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 20, 2019
Now, the Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a case against Musk and asked a federal judge to hold him in contempt as the tweet violates the settlement deal reached last year.
Later, Musk issued a follow-up tweet in which he said that his company would deliver 400,000 cars instead of 500,000.
According to the case filed by SEC, Musk has “once again published inaccurate and material information about Tesla to his over 24 million Twitter followers.”
Moreover, his tweet was not pre-approved which is a mandate according to the terms of the settlement.
To clarify the situation, Tesla said that the information Musk provided in the tweet was already made public in the company’s earnings call with Wall Street analysts on January 30.
Musk later tweeted:
SEC forgot to read Tesla earnings transcript, which clearly states 350k to 500k. How embarrassing … 🤗
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 26, 2019
If the court finds Musk guilty of the charges claimed by SEC, he could face a fine of up to $1,000 per day starting from when the court issued the order until a court rules that he has complied to the terms.
Soon after SEC filed the case, Tesla’s shares tanked more than 4% in after-hours trading.