"As a result of his failure to comply with the [settlement, Musk] once again published inaccurate and material information about Tesla to his over 24 million Twitter followers", the SEC said in a press statement. A few hours later, the billionaire CEO clarified to say the company's annualised production rate by end-2019 would probably be around 500,000, and that only 400,000 will be delivered.
The US watchdog said a tweet about Tesla's plan to make 500,000 cars in 2019 was "inaccurate" and broke the terms of a 2018 agreement that stated Musk's commentary about the auto maker would be vetted in advance.
Musk, who initially on Monday accused the SEC of failing to read the company's annual reports, followed up with another tweet in the early hours of Tuesday.
Tesla has not yet responded to the court filing, but Musk has tweeted a meme.
Shares of the electric auto maker dipped 2.6 per cent to $291 in trading before the bell, signalling concern among investors that Musk had reopened his feud with the regulator. The stock was already down 10 per cent this year through the close of regular trading.
"Musk has thus violated the court's final judgment by engaging in the very conduct that the pre-approval provision of the final judgment was created to prevent", it said.
Tesla's stock slides on news that the SEC wants contempt charges filed against CEO Musk.
When pressed how Tesla officials could know whether his tweets might be violating the SEC settlement if they were not readying them before they were posted, Mr Musk replied: "Well, I guess we might make some mistakes". And to make sure Musk didn't mislead investors again, the SEC required Tesla to develop a process for pre-approving all Musk tweets that contain potentially market-moving information. It pointed to his interview with CBS's "60 Minutes" in December, in which he said the he respects the justice system, he doesn't respect the SEC, and his tweets weren't being reviewed before he posted them.
That's not exactly what Musk said in the first tweet. "Who knows?" He added: "Nobody's flawless".
Now that the SEC thinks Musk isn't playing by the rules of the settlement, it's asked the judge in its case against Musk to hold him in contempt.
The SEC filed a complaint against Musk in September of 2018. I do not respect them'.