Tesla is already the subject of a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into whether it breached securities laws by failing to disclose the Florida crash prior to selling $2 billion worth of shares. The January crash would seemingly raise similar concerns.

With Tesla, still a minnow in the global auto market, soon facing new competition from deep-pocketed rivals including General Motors’ Chevy Bolt, its brand reputation has never been more important. The longer questions linger about the safety of its vehicles, and the company’s willingness to discuss potential issues, the more that reputation is put at risk.

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