The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has opened an investigation into Tesla. As first reported by Reuters, the investigation began after a whistleblower alleged Tesla failed to properly disclose fire risks associated with solar panel defects.
According to Reuters, the whistleblower complaint is that Tesla failed to properly notify its shareholders and the public of fire risks associated with solar panel system defects over several years, according to a letter from the agency.
Concerns about fires from Tesla solar panel systems have been published previously, but this is the first report of investigation by the securities regulator.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission disclosed the Tesla solar panel probe in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by Steven Henkes, a former Tesla field quality manager.
Henkes filed a whistleblower complaint on the solar panel systems in 2019 and asked the SEC for information about the report.
It is reported that Henkes was fired from Tesla in August 2020 and he sued Tesla claiming the dismissal was in retaliation for raising safety concerns.
The SEC is yet to comment on the reports and it’s the same story for Tesla – all reporting thus far has been based on the Reuter’s piece. We’ll update this article if anything new comes to light.