The Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been investigating Tesla Motors fir nearly a year regarding its spending of the federal loan.
In 2010 the Department of Energy offered Tesla a $465 million federal loan. For the past year the Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been “looking into whether Tesla Motors is using foreign-made parts in manufacturing their vehicles rather than U.S-made parts.”
The automaker must buy only American parts for its products, but Tesla might have used its foreign trade zone status to bypass loan requirements. In the 1930s the foreign trade zones were made so that products could be imported without the usual custom duties and procedures. Federal records prove that on September 20th, Tesla received approval for its application for a “sub-zone” in San Jose’s foreign trade zone.
But the DHS ICE later determined that the money used for foreign parts came from the ATVM program and not from the 2009 Recovery Act, which is the one which has the “Buy American” stipulations. Anyhow, it hasn’t been a secret that Tesla uses Panasonic-supplied batteries, just like Ford does for its C-Max Hybrid and Hybrid Energi models, as well as its new Ford Fusion.