Tesla has been granted a temporary restraining order to prevent an alleged harasser from approaching the carmaker’s California factory.
The electric carmaker claimed in its application for the order that the man had repeatedly harassed its employees. He allegedly controls a Twitter account which frequently claimsthat Tesla engages in fraud and which claims to be betting that Tesla shares will fall.
The man, a resident of Fremont, California, is named in the order, granted by a court in the state. He is allegedly part of a loose online community that believes Tesla is destined for failure.
In Tesla’s application, it alleged that the man had driven into a security employee when trespassing on the company’s factory. The application also alleged that the man had pursued a Tesla vehicle bearing manufacturer number plates, driving around the car and swerving towards it, at one point triggering a collision-avoidance feature.
Under the terms of the order, first reported by the Electrek website, the man is not allowed within 100 yards of several Tesla employees or Tesla’s headquarters or main factory. He must also stay 10 yards away from any Tesla vehicle with manufacturer number plates within five miles of the headquarters.
Elon Musk, Tesla’s billionaire founder, wrote, “Never seen anything like it” in response to a conversation about the alleged harasser.
The activity by the supposed short seller adds another twist to the bizarre relationship between Tesla and Twitter.
Musk, one of the social network’s most prominent users, has faced censure from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for tweeting inaccurate market-sensitive news last year.
On Friday, Musk and the SEC were granted another week to resolve a dispute over a tweet, later corrected, that Tesla would make 500,000 cars this year. The US regulator said the tweet was a violation of a previous legal settlement for allegedly misleading investors.
The dispute highlights the struggles faced by the electric car maker as it tries to increase its output to mass-market scale. The pace of production slowed at the beginning of the year.
Tesla intends to shrink its board, a move the company said would allow it to operate more nimbly and efficiently, it said in a regulatory filing published on Friday. The plan will cut the number of board members from 11 to seven.
Brad Buss, Antonio Gracias, Stephen Jurvetson and Linda Johnson Rice will not stand for re-election to the Tesla board when their terms come to an end at the company’s 2019 and 2020 annual meetings. The changes were not because of disagreements between Tesla and the directors, the filing said.
Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.