Tuesday 16 October 2018 4:24 pm

Tesla shares rise as SEC settlement gets nod of approval from US judge


A settlement deal between Tesla, its chief executive Elon Musk and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was today given the all-clear by a US judge.

Musk had agreed to pay a fine of $20m (£15.1m) and step down from his role as Tesla chairman for three years, while Tesla also paid out a similar fine.

The SEC had filed charges against Musk for securities fraud, over "false and misleading" tweets on 7 August which said he was considering taking the electric carmaker private at $420 per share with "funding secured".

Tesla's share price rose 4.5 per cent on the news in early trading.

Read more: Musk denies rumours of James Murdoch as lead candidate for Tesla chairman

The news follows Musk's denial of reports that Tesla board member and 21st Century Fox chief James Murdoch would take over as the company's chairman once he steps down as part of the settlement in November.

Tesla remains under pressure to meet Musk's targets of achieving profitability at the firm by the fourth quarter of this financial year, a deadline which is looming as the carmaker prepares to file its third quarter financial results next month.

Musk said today that a new chip had been developed to improve on Tesla cars' autopilot feature, which he believes will improve the performance of its self-driving computer between 500 per cent and 2,000 per cent. The chips will be available in about six months in all newly-produced cars.