Washington/San Francisco — Tesla and Elon Musk have agreed to pay $20m each to financial regulators and the billionaire will step down as the company’s chair but remain as CEO, under a settlement that caps a tumultuous two months for the carmaker. The securities fraud agreement, disclosed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Saturday, will come as a relief to investors, who had worried that a lengthy legal fight would only further hurt the loss-making electric car company. The commission on Thursday charged Musk, 47, with misleading investors with tweets on August 7 that said he was considering taking Tesla private at $420 a share and had secured funding. The tweets had no basis in fact, and the ensuing market chaos hurt investors, it claimed. Investors and corporate governance experts said the agreement could strengthen Tesla, which has been bruised by Musk’s recent behaviour, which included smoking marijuana on a webcast and attacking a British rescue diver via Twitter....

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