Car Industry

SEC wants Elon Musk held in contempt of court over tweets

A series of tweets that speculate on Tesla's 2019 production numbers could be at the root of this move.

Tesla's tweet-happy CEO is in hot water over a violation of his agreement with the SEC.

Robyn Beck/Getty Images

The Securities and Exchange Commission is coming down hard on Tesla CEO Elon Musk for violating the terms of his agreement with the regulatory body, according to a filing released by the SEC on Monday.

The agreement, which was drafted in the aftermath of Musk's "Funding secured" debacle in 2018, forbade Musk from using his Twitter account or other social media platforms to disperse information that would be considered material to investors or Tesla without having gotten prior approval.

The SEC's move to hold Musk in contempt likely stems from a series of tweets from earlier in February. In these tweets, Musk speculates that Tesla will produce around 500,000 cars in 2019.

The news of the SEC's request caused Tesla's shares to sink by as much as 4.6 percent in after-hours trading at the time of publication.

Tesla declined to offer further comment on the matter and the SEC didn't respond immediately to requests for comment.

Update, at 3:58 p.m.: Included Tesla's response to our request for comment.

Update, at 4:41 p.m.: Added a link directly to the SEC's filing against Musk.