The Department of Justice is seeking documents related to the self-driving feature in Tesla cars, the electric automaker revealed in filings today.
The request is part of the criminal probe the DOJ launched in 2021 following more than a dozen crashes of Tesla vehicles involving the autopilot and full self-driving (FSD) features.
The autopilot feature assists Tesla drivers with steering, braking, speed, and lane changes, although the feature currently requires active participation from the driver and is not fully autonomous. Tesla owners can also purchase full-driving (FSD) software that allows autonomous parking and lane changes.
This is occurring alongside a probe by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is conducting a civil investigation into claims made by Tesla about its autopilot feature. The investigation began in October last year, the same month Tesla CEO Musk finalized his purchase of Twitter.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which has the power to order a financially punishing recall of Tesla vehicles, is also investigating the automaker. This investigation, which the NHTSA says is “very extensive,” began in August of 2021.
The regulatory troubles for Tesla come amid a decline in the company’s stock price, which dropped to $113 at the start of January, down from a high of $407 in November 2021. The stock price has since rebounded to $177.
Twitter, the latest addition to Musk’s business empire, is also in trouble. The latest figures show that ad spending, which the company depends on for 89 percent of its total revenue, dropped 70 percent in December compared to the same month in 2021.
The advertising industry, a key element of pressure in the left’s online censorship machine, fled the platform as Musk restored a measure of free speech, reinstating prominent conservative accounts including former president Donald Trump.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.
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