Tesla isn’t obligated to pay $162 million JPMorgan wants for an investment in the electric car company, says Tesla

JPMorgan is demanding Tesla pay $162 million to the bank to settle an ongoing dispute over whether the payment will be made when Elon Musk confirms to JPMorgan whether he owns a significant amount of stock.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission late Friday, Tesla indicated that it believes it is not obligated to pay JPMorgan the cash it owes. Tesla said it did not believe it owed the money because it has not “made a definitive determination” about whether Musk is owner of “large enough percentage of stockholder” to satisfy the repayment obligations.

“We strongly disagree with this position,” JPMorgan said in a separate SEC filing.

JPMorgan says it’s owed the money because of a period of time during which Musk infamously said he had secured funding for a deal to take Tesla private.

And while Tesla said Friday that Musk would confirm with JPMorgan whether he owns a substantial amount of stock, it seems likely that the initial explanation for the dispute — that its leadership believed Musk was the minority owner of the shares — could hold.

Tesla confirmed Friday that it has a $160 million stock liability associated with its share of the potential Tesla-Musk transaction, and a $162 million liability related to the potential Tesla-Musk proposal.

And while Tesla said Tesla-Musk may have caused its shares to decline last year, JPMorgan’s filings with the SEC also indicated that it “believes shares of Tesla, after having been subject to a 20% decline,” were also “likely to be subject to substantial declines over a range of possible value scenarios.”

It’s unclear what different scenarios those were.

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