At least two government agencies are looking into Tesla’s secret glass house project dubbed “Project 42,” according to The Wall Street Journal. Back in July, the publication reported that the automaker’s board launched an investigation over concerns that its CEO, Elon Musk, was using company funds for the project. Now, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has reportedly asked for information on how much Tesla spent on the project and on personal benefits Musk enjoys. Likewise, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has also opened a civil probe, the Journal said, and has sought the same information.
The plans for Project 42 involved building a glass structure that appeared to be a living space with bedrooms, bathrooms and a kitchen near Tesla’s facilities in Austin, Texas. A couple of concepts envisioned it as a “twisted hexagon” or a glass cube similar to Apple’s 5th Avenue store. The Journal previously said that the board launched an investigation after employees raised concerns regarding the special glass ordered for the project, which they believe would cost the company millions of dollars. It’s unclear if that investigation is finished and if the company’s order for the special glass pushed through.
As the publication notes, SEC requires transactions over $120,000 when an executive has a material interest in them. Any personal benefits paid to executives that amount to over $10,000 must also be disclosed to investors. Authorities have only just started looking into the initiative, however, and these probes might not lead to any formal charges.
In addition to investigations regarding Project 42, Tesla is also reportedly facing inquiries from federal prosecutors over the driving range of its vehicles. The company is being questioned after Reuters reported last month that its EVs frequently don’t meet their range estimates and that the company set up a team specifically to cancel service appointments related to driving range complaints.
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