Tesla is reportedly suing a former employee for the alleged theft of confidential company data and for making false claims to the media.
According to CNBC, electric car company Tesla is suing a former employee for the alleged theft of gigabytes of confidential company data and allegedly making false claims to the media, a lawsuit filed in Nevada shows. The company has begun investigating the actions of former process technician Martin Tripp who according to the lawsuit, “has thus far admitted to writing software that hacked Tesla’s manufacturing operating system (“MOS”) and to transferring several gigabytes of Tesla data to outside entities.”
This data reportedly included “dozens of confidential photographs and a video of Tesla’s manufacturing systems.” Tripp also allegedly wrote code that would regularly collect and export Tesla’s data to unauthorized third-party groups. The lawsuit also claims that Tripp made a number of false claims to the media about the company’s operations. The lawsuit states: “For example, Tripp claimed that punctured battery cells had been used in certain Model 3 vehicles even though no punctured cells were ever used in vehicles, batteries or otherwise.” The suit continues to say: “Tripp also vastly exaggerated the true amount and value of “scrap” material that Tesla generated during the manufacturing process, and falsely claimed that Tesla was delayed in bringing new manufacturing equipment online.”
Tesla has yet to comment on the situation, but CEO Elon Musk sent a company-wide email recently discussing a “rogue employee” who had caused “extensive and damaging sabotage’” to Tesla’s production line. The email can be read below:
From: Elon Musk
Subject: Some concerning news
June 17, 2018
I was dismayed to learn this weekend about a Tesla employee who had conducted quite extensive and damaging sabotage to our operations. This included making direct code changes to the Tesla Manufacturing Operating System under false usernames and exporting large amounts of highly sensitive Tesla data to unknown third parties.
The full extent of his actions are not yet clear, but what he has admitted to so far is pretty bad. His stated motivation is that he wanted a promotion that he did not receive. In light of these actions, not promoting him was definitely the right move.
However, there may be considerably more to this situation than meets the eye, so the investigation will continue in depth this week. We need to figure out if he was acting alone or with others at Tesla and if he was working with any outside organizations.
As you know, there are a long list of organizations that want Tesla to die. These include Wall Street short-sellers, who have already lost billions of dollars and stand to lose a lot more. Then there are the oil & gas companies, the wealthiest industry in the world — they don’t love the idea of Tesla advancing the progress of solar power & electric cars. Don’t want to blow your mind, but rumor has it that those companies are sometimes not super nice. Then there are the multitude of big gas/diesel car company competitors. If they’re willing to cheat so much about emissions, maybe they’re willing to cheat in other ways?
Most of the time, when there is theft of goods, leaking of confidential information, dereliction of duty or outright sabotage, the reason really is something simple like wanting to get back at someone within the company or at the company as a whole. Occasionally, it is much more serious.
Please be extremely vigilant, particularly over the next few weeks as we ramp up the production rate to 5k/week. This is when outside forces have the strongest motivation to stop us.
If you know of, see or suspect anything suspicious, please send a note to [email address removed for privacy] with as much info as possible. This can be done in your name, which will be kept confidential, or completely anonymously.
Looking forward to having a great week with you as we charge up the super exciting ramp to 5000 Model 3 cars per week!
Will follow this up with emails every few days describing the progress and challenges of the Model 3 ramp.
Thanks for working so hard to make Tesla successful,