The Tesla CEO has tweeted a few questionable items, and one is bringing about a lawsuit from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

It’s been a bumpy month or so for Tesla CEO Elon Musk, but his electric-car company could be hitting a straightaway.

The Palo Alto, California, high-tech upstart outsold long-established luxury sedan maker Mercedes-Benz during the July-September period in the U.S., marking its first sales victory.

Tesla sold 69,925 Model 3, S and X cars in the U.S. during the quarter, compared to the German automaker’s 66,542 vehicles (excluding commercial vans), says analyst Jean Baptiste of Atherton Research in a report in Forbes.

And this quarter, Tesla, which sold its first Roadster in 2008, may be able to surpass another rival, BMW, which sold 71,679 vehicles in the third quarter, he says. 

More: Tesla CEO Elon Musk to pay for water stations, filtration at Flint schools as promised

That’s because Tesla is hitting its production stride. During the third quarter, Tesla says it delivered 83,500 vehicles – more than 80% of the vehicles that the company delivered in all of 2017.

For Musk, things haven’t been so smooth. Two weeks ago, Musk agreed, in a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, to leave his position as Tesla chairman for three years and pay $20 million for making a “false and misleading” statement when he tweeted Tesla had enough financing to go private.

More: Tesla CEO Elon Musk apparently rips SEC after deal: ‘Shortseller Enrichment Commission’



Under the settlement, Tesla will also add two new independent directors to the company’s board.

Musk, who will remain as CEO, also caused a stir last month when he smoked what host Joe Rogan described as marijuana inside of tobacco a live video podcast interview.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.

Read or Share this story: