SEC probes Tesla over whistleblower claims on solar panel defects

Walmart with Solar in California

A Freedom of Information Request has revealed the SEC has an active investigation looking into Tesla over a whistleblower complaint.

The whistleblower alleges that the company failed to properly notify its shareholders and the public over fires risk associated with their solar panel system.

The failure to notify happened before Tesla acquired SolarCity.

The alleged fire issues with Tesla solar systems is not new. However, this is the first time that we have seen confirmation of an open investigation on the subject.

Steven Henkes is a former Tesla field quality manager. He filed a whistleblower complaint in 2019 and asked for information about the report.

In his SEC complaint, Henkes noted that Tesla failed to disclose its liability and exposure to property damage, risk of injury of users, fire etc., before the acquisition of SolarCity.

In addition, Tesla failed to notify its customers that defective electrical connectors could lead to fires and that customers had to conduct maintenance on the solar system.

Henkes lost his job in August 2020 and sued Tesla. He is claiming his dismissal was in retaliation for raising safety concerns

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As per the SEC response, the commission confirmed that the Division of Enforcement’s investigation is still active and ongoing. The commission did not provide any other information to the requester.

Neither Tesla nor the SEC provided a comment on the situation.

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Source: Reuters

About Scott Nordlund 1339 Articles
Originally from the West Coast, Scott is an avid writer & EV enthusiast now living in Ottawa. He holds a MA in Political Science and once played professional football in the German Football League. Email