2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S front 3/4 view

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S rear 3/4 view

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S front 3/4 view

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S rear 3/4 view

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S side view

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S front view

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S rear view

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S front 3/4 view

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S rear 3/4 view

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S headlight

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S logo

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S wheel

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S side marker

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S door handle

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S brake light

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S taillight

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S logo

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S logo

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S badge

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S badge

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S front cargo area

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S rear cargo area

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S interior

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S interior

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S interior

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S steering wheel

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S front seats

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S front seats

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S rear seats

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S digital display

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S digital display

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S steering wheel

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S steering wheel controls

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S steering wheel controls

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S dash

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S emergency button

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S center arm rest

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S touch screen

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S touch screen

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S touch screen

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S touch screen

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S touch screen

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S touch screen

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S touch screen

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S touch screen

2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S
  • 2012 Tesla Model S VIN display

A recent report indicates that there's a dark and shadowy secret just waiting to wreck havoc on Tesla Motors: a federal probe into whether, as the conservative Washington Times puts it, "the automaker was using foreign instead of American parts in manufacturing their electric vehicles." Tesla has openly said it uses Panasonic battery cells, for example, so the need for a probe is not quite clear.

According to a PDF that the Times says comes from an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigation, ICE asked the Department of Energy for documents about the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program on December 5, 2011. There are lots of "may" and "possibly" phrasings in the memo, and it reads like someone saw a mention on the DOE website about a "buy American" requirement and went fishing for information. The DOE responded on December 22 that "the $465m Tesla loan was not appropriated through the Recovery Act of 2009. The $465m Tesla loan was actually appropriated through Public Law 110-329 and does not have the buy American requirement," adding that "The DOE [Office of Inspector General] would not be investigating this matter any further." For some reason the Times concludes that the memo, "provides no information on how, or whether, the customs probe concluded."

A Seeking Alpha contributor notes that the ICE:

is still proactively investigating whether Tesla is using its foreign trade zone status to bypass the so-called "loan requirements." A foreign trade zone facilitates the creation of certain areas at or near customs port of entry where products can be imported without standard import duties and customs entry procedures. Tesla's application for a "subzone" within San Jose's foreign trade zone was approved in September. ICE is neither affirming nor denying an investigation. Also, Tesla has made no mention of this investigation in its SEC disclosures.

He add that he's not worried about a negative impact on TSLA stock or the company based on the investigation. For the record, Tesla's official statement is as follows:

We have not at any time been made aware of an investigation regarding this issue by ICE or any other governmental agency. It is customary for car manufacturers in the United States to use imported parts and we have openly indicated throughout the development of Model S that we purchase certain parts, like the cells used in our battery pack, from foreign suppliers.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • From Our Partners

    Share This Photo X