Tesla Investigated for Using Foreign Instead of US-Made Parts
Just days after announcing that the company had finally stopped losing money, last week, we have now learned that Tesla Motors has the subject of an ongoing investigation by federal authorities, who have the job of checking how they used their government-granted loans, according to the Washington Times.
Apparently, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been investigating the Silicon Valley-based EV maker for the last year, and they have been checking whether or not they used any of the $465-million they received from the Department of Energy (DoE) to buy foreign-made parts, rather than US-made ones.
However, considering Tesla used its foreign trade zone status to work around the problem of ‘buying American’, it does not really have to meet the stringent requirements put forth by the DoE – they applied for e a ‘sub-zone’ in the foreign trade zone of San Jose, which was approved at the end of September.
Furthermore, following the investigation, the ICE found that the loan received by Tesla was actually part of a federal appropriations bill, and it was not directly linked to Obama’s ‘EV encouragement program’, and they stated, in the end, that they did not need to only buy US-made parts, after all. Tesla has also announced that they have begun to pay back some of the federal loan.