British Columbia Sun

SEC investigating Tesla after whistleblower claims firm covered solar panel flame danger


Key takeaways: 

  • The whistleblower stated he asked security concerns with the firm ere he was ousted in 2020.
  • A whistleblower states he was ousted from Tesla the previous year for raising his security concerns. 

Whistleblower raises safety concerns, fired from the company: 

The U.S. protection regulator has started a probe into Tesla Inc. over a whistleblower accusation that the firm neglected to accurately notify its shareholders and the people of fire risks connected with solar panel system errors over many years, according to a letter from the bureau.

The investigations raise a regulatory burden on the world’s most precious automaker, which already suffers a federal safety inquiry into events including its driver assistant systems. Concerns about flares from Tesla solar systems have been announced earlier, but this is the primary report of the inquiry by the securities regulator.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revealed the Tesla inquiry in reply to a Freedom of Information Act request by Steven Henkes, a previous Tesla field quality manager, who recorded a whistleblower complaint on the solar systems in 2019 and urged the agency for data about the report.

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Solar Panel
SEC probing Tesla for hiding solar panel fire risk

“We have confirmed with Division of Enforcement staff that the investigation from which you seek records is still active and ongoing,” the SEC stated in a Sept. 24 reply to Henkes, rejecting his application to provide its records. The SEC official stated the letter should not be taken as a sign by the agency that breaches of law had happened. Source –

Security breaches

Henkes, a past Toyota Motor quality division manager, was ousted from Tesla in August 2020, and he accused Tesla, alleging the dismissal was in revenge for raising safety concerns. Tesla did not reply to the media emailed inquiries, while the SEC refused to comment.

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