Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) Subpoenas May Presage Formal Probe

Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) Subpoenas May Presage Formal Probe

Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) Subpoenas May Presage Formal Probe

Freshly disclosed records suggest the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration may be preparing a formal investigation into Tesla Inc.’s driver-assistance system Autopilot, a former agency official said.

The agency has issued at least five subpoenas since April 2018 for information about Tesla vehicle crashes, according to NHTSA correspondence with the electric-car manufacturer released Tuesday by Plainsite. The legal transparency group obtained the documents through a public records request for communications regarding Autopilot.

NHTSA also asked Tesla to provide results of internal tests on a sub-component of the Model 3 sedan’s automatic emergency braking system, and sales figures of vehicles sold with and without Autopilot since mid-2016, among other requests, according to the records.

“I think what this shows is that NHTSA has concerns about Autopilot performance,” Frank Borris, a former director of the Office of Defects Investigation at NHTSA, said after reviewing the documents. He said the subpoenas could mean the agency “is gathering information that would be supportive of a formal investigation.”

NHTSA doesn’t have an active defect probe into Tesla, and the agency may not open one. The regulator declined to comment directly on whether it will, saying in an emailed statement that it’s “committed to rigorous and appropriate safety oversight of the industry and encourages any potential safety issue be reported to NHTSA.”

“Any regulator like NHTSA would be interested in new vehicle technologies and how they make our highways safer,” Tesla said in an emailed statement. “We routinely share information with the agency while also balancing the need to protect customer privacy. Tesla has required subpoenas when customer information is requested in order to protect the privacy of our customers.”

Tesla shares rose 1.1% to $236.08 as of 9:40 a.m. Thursday in New York. The stock has dropped about 30% this year.

The records released this week show that NHTSA has continued to closely monitor Tesla’s Autopilot technology after the agency in early 2017 closed an earlier probe into the system that found no defect.

In May, Consumer Reports called for the agency to open up another inquiry. The magazine published a study of automated driving systems months earlier that found Tesla’s Autopilot performed better than others, but it knocked the company for allowing the system to be used on roads it isn’t yet able to handle. Autopilot also lagged peers in keeping drivers engaged: General Motors Co.’s Super Cruise feature took four seconds to warn a driver to pay attention, while Autopilot waited 24 seconds.

Data on driver engagement that is included in Tesla’s communications with NHTSA point to a similar issue, said David Friedman, a former deputy administrator at NHTSA during the Obama administration, who’s now vice president of advocacy at Consumer Reports.

“Data like this show the system does not appear to be able to keep the driver engaged, and it’s one company, not the others in the space,” Friedman said. “To me, that raises real red flags about a possible defect.”

Technical Indicators

Overall, the bias in prices is: Sideways.

The projected upper bound is: 261.00.

The projected lower bound is: 217.54.

The projected closing price is: 239.27.

Candlesticks

A white body occurred (because prices closed higher than they opened).
During the past 10 bars, there have been 6 white candles and 4 black candles for a net of 2 white candles. During the past 50 bars, there have been 27 white candles and 23 black candles for a net of 4 white candles.

Momentum Indicators

Momentum is a general term used to describe the speed at which prices move over a given time period. Generally, changes in momentum tend to lead to changes in prices. This expert shows the current values of four popular momentum indicators.

Stochastic Oscillator

One method of interpreting the Stochastic Oscillator is looking for overbought areas (above 80) and oversold areas (below 20). The Stochastic Oscillator is 46.9297. This is not an overbought or oversold reading. The last signal was a buy 7 period(s) ago.

Relative Strength Index (RSI)

The RSI shows overbought (above 70) and oversold (below 30) areas. The current value of the RSI is 51.15. This is not a topping or bottoming area. A buy or sell signal is generated when the RSI moves out of an overbought/oversold area. The last signal was a sell 10 period(s) ago.

Commodity Channel Index (CCI)

The CCI shows overbought (above 100) and oversold (below -100) areas. The current value of the CCI is -14. This is not a topping or bottoming area. The last signal was a buy 8 period(s) ago.

MACD

The Moving Average Convergence/Divergence indicator (MACD) gives signals when it crosses its 9 period signal line. The last signal was a sell 10 period(s) ago.

Rex Takasugi – TD Profile

TESLA INC closed up 4.880 at 238.300. Volume was 50% below average (consolidating) and Bollinger Bands were 8% narrower than normal.

Open     High      Low     Close     Volume___
234.450 239.800 232.650 238.300 5,274,349
Technical Outlook 
Short Term: Neutral
Intermediate Term: Bearish
Long Term: Bearish
Moving Averages: 10-period     50-period     200-period
Close: 234.67 227.58 280.36
Volatility: 39 60 64
Volume: 7,362,758 9,394,289 9,432,012

Short-term traders should pay closer attention to buy/sell arrows while intermediate/long-term traders should place greater emphasis on the Bullish or Bearish trend reflected in the lower ribbon.

Summary

TESLA INC is currently 15.0% below its 200-period moving average and is in an downward trend. Volatility is high as compared to the average volatility over the last 10 periods. Our volume indicators reflect volume flowing into and out of TSLA.O at a relatively equal pace (neutral). Our trend forecasting oscillators are currently bearish on TSLA.O and have had this outlook for the last 7 periods.

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