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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sent Elon Musk a cease-and-desist letter last October over “misleading statements” Tesla made about the Model 3’s safety. The agency also asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether the statements “constitute[d] unfair or deceptive acts or practices.”
The letter and the referral were made public in documents acquired via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by legal nonprofit Plainsite.org. The FOIA documents show that the NHTSA issued multiple subpoenas to Tesla following high-profile crashes involving the company’s cars. They also show that Tesla has met with the NHTSA on a quarterly basis to keep the agency updated on topics like Autopilot and…