All posts in “Elon Musk”

Now Tesla could face criminal charges for Musk’s ‘taking Tesla private’ tweet

Elon Musk's infamous take-private tweet is still going strong.
Elon Musk’s infamous take-private tweet is still going strong.

Image: DAVID MCNEW/AFP/Getty Images

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s tweet from more than a month ago keeps biting him in the… well you know.

When Musk mused on Twitter on Aug. 7 about “taking tesla private at $420” it sent everyone into a tizzy.

And then there were the real consequences like a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and lawsuits from shareholders. 

Eventually Musk called off the privatization talks, but now the electric car maker is reportedly facing possible criminal charges for fraud based on that same tweet. Bloomberg News reported Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the company. 

A Tesla spokesperson said last month the DOJ requested documents in a “voluntary request” and Tesla has “been cooperative in responding to it.” The statement went on, “We have not received a subpoena, a request for testimony, or any other formal process. We respect the DOJ’s desire to get information about this and believe that the matter should be quickly resolved as they review the information they have received.”

A DOJ spokesperson wrote in an email, “The Justice Department generally does not confirm, deny or otherwise comment on the existence or non-existence of an investigation.” The DOJ’s “fraud section” says it investigates “complex white collar crime cases.”

The fact that the DOJ is investigating Tesla doesn’t guarantee any criminal charges will be filed. 

Tesla stock Tuesday morning was at $280, after a precipitous drop based on the news about the looming criminal charges.

Tesla's stock plummeted after the news.

Image: GOOGLe/SCREENGRAB

Add the possible criminal suit to the pile of lawsuits Musk and Tesla are dealing with, including the latest from the cave diver Musk called a “pedo guy.”

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Elon Musk said he hoped the cave rescuer would sue him. Now it’s happening.

Maybe it's not a good idea to accuse a cave diving rescuer of being a pedophile.
Maybe it’s not a good idea to accuse a cave diving rescuer of being a pedophile.

Image: PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images

Elon Musk just got the lawsuit he was looking for.

Thai cave rescuer Vernon Unsworth is now officially suing Elon Musk for calling him a pedophile on Twitter.

The feud between the billionaire Tesla CEO and the cave diving expert kicked off back in July after Unsworth, a British citizen, criticized a mini-submarine Musk had built in an attempt to aide in the efforts to save a boys soccer team and their coach from flooded caves in Thailand. 

Unlike Musk, Unsworth was a key part of the rescue efforts. Musk’s comeback to the critique involved hurling a completely unfounded accusation that the cave diver was a pedophile, or “pedo guy” as Musk called him on Twitter. Unsworth, at the time, announced he was pursuing his legal options in response to the claim.

After major public blowback, Musk finally apologized. But, a month later in August, the Tesla CEO was back at it again questioning why Unsworth hadn’t sued yet if the pedophile allegation that Musk, and Musk alone, hurled at him wasn’t true.

If this tale wasn’t bizarre enough, later that August Elon Musk sent an email to a Buzzfeed News reporter further exploring the details of the weird accusation:

I suggest that you call people you know in Thailand, find out what’s actually going on and stop defending child rapists, you fucking asshole. He’s an old, single white guy from England who’s been traveling to or living in Thailand for 30 to 40 years, mostly Pattaya Beach, until moving to Chiang Rai for a child bride who was about 12 years old at the time. There’s only one reason people go to Pattaya Beach. It isn’t where you’d go for caves, but it is where you’d go for something else. Chiang Rai is renowned for child sex-trafficking.

Musk provided zero evidence for any of these claims. He also questioned Unsworth’s diving credentials and his level of involvement in the rescue operation. Unsworth has denied all of these claims and accusations. Reporters who attempted to look into the claims also came up empty-handed.

In that same email, Musk again brought up the issue of the rumored lawsuit that had yet to be filed:

As for this alleged threat of a lawsuit, which magically appeared when I raised the issue (nothing was sent or raised beforehand), I fucking hope he sues me.

Well, the lawsuit was just filed Monday in Los Angeles. The cave diver is looking for upwards of $75,000 in damages as well as a court order against Musk to stop him from making any more allegations. In addition, as Buzzfeed points out, the complaint mentions “that a separate suit will be filed in the High Court in London.”

Mashable has reached out to Unsworth’s lawyer, L. Lin Wood, for comment and will update this story when we hear back.

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Lucid Motors secures $1 billion from Saudi wealth fund to launch the Air

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is investing $1 billion into Lucid Motors, capital that will finance the commercial launch of the startup’s first electric vehicle.

The agreement comes just six weeks after Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that he was considering taking Tesla private at $420 a share and had secured the proper funding to make the leap. Musk suggested that Saudi’s wealth fund, which already owns almost 5 percent of Tesla stock, would xyz.

Tesla’s board and Musk have since quashed those plans to go private.

The investment came at a crucial moment for Lucid Motors, which has struggled recently to raise the funds needed to produce its luxury EV, the Lucid Air. The funding will be used to complete engineering development and testing of the Lucid Air, construct its factory in Casa Grande, Arizona, begin the global rollout of its retail strategy starting in North America and enter production, the company said.

Lucid Motors was founded 10 years ago with a different name and mission. The company, called  Atieva at the time, was focused on developing electric car battery technology. It then shifted to producing electric cars and changed its name in 2016.

The company seemed to have momentum at the time. Lucid Motors had successfully raised money, unveiled the Air, announced plans to build a $700 million factory in Arizona, signed a deal with Samsung SDI to supply it with lithium-ion batteries and moved into spacious new digs. But building a factory is expensive, and the company fell silent for nearly a year as it sought funding to produce the Air.

It’s also a notable investment for the Saudi kingdom, which under its Vision 2030 plan is seeking to diversify its economy away from fossil fuels. In the past year, the Saudi Public Investment Fund has invested in renewable energy, established and developed recycling companies and energy efficiency services, the kingdom noted in a release.

Elon Musk moves 2 Tesla colors ‘off menu’

Seven paint options for future Teslas will soon dwindle to five.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted on Monday night that Tesla would “simplify manufacturing” by removing Obsidian Black Metallic and Silver Metallic from the menu of colors as of Wednesday, possibly so it can catch up on missed production deadlines and fulfill  orders already placed by consumers who want to drive its new electric sedan, the Model 3

Any color beyond Solid Black already come at an additional cost, but starting Wednesday the metallic black and silver options will be moved to a “special order” status.

Tesla didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment as to why the metallic colors were problematic for production, or what Musk means by “higher price,” but we’ll update this post if we hear back.

A look at current Tesla paint options before two are moved to "special order" status.

A look at current Tesla paint options before two are moved to “special order” status.

In a reply to a customer who wanted to know about options to service his Silver Metallic Model X 100, Musk tweeted that service centers will continue to stock parts in each color for owners of cars painted with the soon-limited colors. 

In July, Musk stated an August goal of producing 6,000 Model 3 cars per week, however the current reality is closer to 3,500, according to estimates by Bloomberg.

After the announcement, Musk described the process of using red paint as looking “like an episode of Dexter,” the TV series about a serial killer/blood spatter expert. He included a photo showing the car plant in red, looking “so sus.” 

With Musk wanting to get this show on the road, he most likely realized there’s just no time for frivolous things like sparkly paint.

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Of course Elon Musk’s very serious Boring Company treats machines like video games

Out of all of Elon Musk’s ventures, the Boring Company is undoubtedly the most WTF.

For instance, the tunneling company may be best known for its Not-a-Flamethrower, the barely legal $600 flame-spewing gadget with Dr. Seuss-inspired terms and conditions. 

Even Musk himself recently admitted that “the flamethrower was a terrible idea,” and that “I’m not saying the Boring Company will succeed.” 

So it shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise that the company doesn’t take other aspects of its business too seriously either. Like its machines, some of which are apparently controlled with actual Xbox controllers. 

The company posted a video Saturday showing exactly that: a large piece of tunneling machinery being guided by an Xbox controller.

Whether or not this is the company’s usual setup is unclear. It could simply be an experiment, or it could be the real deal. And while we’re highly skeptical of the company claim that it’s the “best video game ever,” the Xbox controller seems to be more than up for the task.  

Sure, there are probably loads of other complex controllers that are specifically designed to operate heavy, industrial machinery. But why even bother if you could just pick up your old Xbox controller and pretend you’re playing a very loud, very monotonous, video game?

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