Interior of Tesla car self driving with man in driver seat

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Justice Department investigating Tesla’s autopilot features, company reveals

The company said in an SEC filing that no government agency 'has concluded that any wrongdoing occurred.'


Jacob Seitz


Posted on Jan 31, 2023

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has requested documents regarding Tesla’s self-driving features, according to a regulatory filing.

In a Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing on Monday, the company said it was cooperating with the request.

“The company has received requests from the DOJ for documents related to Tesla’s Autopilot and FSD [Full Self-Driving] features,” it wrote.

“To our knowledge, no government agency in any ongoing investigation has concluded that any wrongdoing occurred,” it said in the filing. “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, and financial position.”

Tesla and the DOJ did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Austin-based automaker is already facing multiple investigations from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) for problems surrounding the company’s two driver-assist systems, Autopilot and “Full Self-Driving.”

The systems have been under investigation by the NHTSA since June 2016 when a driver was killed after his Tesla went under a tractor-trailer in Florida while using the Autopilot feature. The NHSTA has sent investigators to 35 Tesla crashes in total where an auto-driving feature was suspected of being used.

Elon Musk, Tesla and Twitter CEO, said that the cars would be fully autonomous in 2022, but the program has faced bad press and pitfalls in its rollout.

Recently a senior engineer said the company faked a 2016 video touting fully automated capabilities and a self-driving Tesla caused an eight-vehicle pile-up on the Bay Bridge in San Francisco after it abruptly stopped.

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*First Published: Jan 31, 2023, 2:40 pm CST