Tesla Model 3 production reportedly being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation


Tesla released a statement in response, confirming that it received a voluntary request for documents about its public guidance for the Model 3 and had cooperated.

Model 3 is a key part of Tesla's plan to expand from a niche player in the segment of luxury to the automaker with a wider range of consumers.

The investigation may be looking at statements made by the company in 2017, according to the Wall Street Journal's sources.

Electric auto advocates are wildly pointing to this news, loudly declaring that automakers should note that electric vehicles are profitable to make. In reality, the company didn't hit that 5,000 vehicle a week target for the first time until the end of June this year.

A Tesla spokesman said that the company was transparent about the difficulty of increasing production of the Model 3.

Musk had said as early as February of a year ago - months before Tesla started making the Model 3 - that the company planned to be manufacturing 5,000 of the vehicles a week by the fourth quarter of 2017, comments he echoed that July.

The investigation seeks to find the legitimacy of Tesla's public statement about Model 3 productions; if the number of cars on the paper tally with those actually built.

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The Model 3 is a key part of Tesla's plan to expand from a niche player in the luxury segment to a auto maker with broader appeal.

Tesla and CEO Elon Musk were saddled with a combined $40 million worth of fines to settle SEC's claims that Musk defrauded investors with tweets saying he planned to take the company private.

Some analysts on Wall Street even stated that they did not see a need for Tesla to raise capital in short term in order to support production of its Model 3.

The company said on Saturday customers who purchase a Model 3 Performance, which starts at $64,000, will no longer need to shell out an extra $5,000 for flashier wheels and a spoiler on the trunk.

The company said it hasn't received any further requests from the agency. In November 2017, Musk said that he expected to produce 5,000 models per week "probably sometime in March", and was ultimately three months late anyway.

For months critics have been warning that cash flow problems threatened the company's survival.