A US District Court judge has asked electric car maker Tesla, its CEO Elon Musk and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to iron out their differences within two weeks and come with a new resolution.
At the hearing on a Manhattan court on Thursday as Mr Musk sat stoically, the federal judge Alison Nathan told him, "Take a breath. Come back with your reasonableness pants on."
Judge Nathan weighed the SEC's request of holding Mr Musk in contempt for sharing confidential information with his 25.5 million followers on Twitter despite a settlement deal that requires Mr Musk to get his social media posts pre-approved from Tesla's board.
"When the judge ultimately punted on the decision, ordering his lawyers and the SEC to work out their differences and come back in two weeks with a resolution, Musk seemed relieved," TechCrunch reported.
In a statement, Mr Musk said he was pleased with the decision.
The tweet in question was true, immaterial to shareholders, and in no way a violation of my agreement with the SEC.
"We have always felt that we should be able to work through any disagreements directly with the SEC, rather than prematurely rushing to court. Today, that is exactly what Judge Nathan instructed," Mr Musk added.
Tesla shares fell more than 8 per cent on Thursday.
Mr Musk tweeted on February 19 that Tesla would produce "around" 500,000 cars this year, correcting later to clarify that the company would actually produce at an annualized rate of 500,000 vehicles by year end.
The SEC filed a lawsuit against Mr Musk in response to his tweet.
In a court filing, Tesla admitted that Mr Musk did not receive pre-approval from anyone on that committee for his February posts, but the company has since claimed that he did not need it, CNN had reported.
In August 2018, the US SEC filed a lawsuit against Mr Musk after he tweeted that he was considering taking the company private.
Mr Musk and Tesla later settled with the SEC. Tesla agreed to pay a $20 million fine and Mr Musk stepped down as Tesla Chairman for at least three years.
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