Martin Tripp, the former Tesla technician currently facing a lawsuit from the company over claims that he leaked company information, claims that Tesla CEO Elon Musk is ‘waging war’ on him unfairly.
Martin Tripp is facing a lawsuit from his former employer Tesla 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 Tripp who worked as a process technician and 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.”
Tripp has now been interviewed by multiple publications in efforts to explain his role in the situation. “I’m a scapegoat because I provided information that is absolutely true,” Tripp told the Guardian. “This is obscene … It feels like I have no rights as a whistleblower… They’re trying to do everything they can to silence me and trying to set an example so that no one else will talk to the press.”
In an interview with the Washington Post, Tripp denied claims that he hacked Tesla computers saying: “I’m not that smart, I don’t know how to code. I tried to teach myself to code and I don’t have the patience.” He also claimed that Tesla’s assertion that he was disgruntled after being passed over for a promotion, Tripp said: “That’s their generic excuse, I could literally care less.”
Tripp claimed that he leaked Tesla information to a reporter for Business Insider as he felt his concerns were being ignored at the company: “I kept bringing this up to management, supervisors, anyone who would listen,” he said. “Everyone just said, ‘Yeah, whatever.'” He continued, “When it’s world impactful, when you’re lying to the world and investors about the cars you’re producing and how sustainable you are, when you’re saying one thing and doing another, the righteous thing is for the world to know.”
A Tesla spokesperson recently told CNBC that the company received a threat from an alleged “friend of Mr. Tripp” who claimed that he would come to the Gigafactory battery plant in Nevada and “shoot the place up.” Police investigated the call and found that there was “no credible threat,” Tripp says that he “never made a threat,” and said that Tesla’s claims are “insane.”
Tripp also exchanged emails with Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the exchange was recently published in full and can be read below:
Tripp: “Don’t worry, you have what’s coming to you for the lies you have told to the public and investors.”
Musk: “Threatening me only makes it worse for you”
Tripp: “I never made a threat. I simply told you that you have what’s coming. Thank you for this gift!!!!”
Musk: “You should ashamed of yourself for framing other people. You’re a horrible human being.”
Tripp: “I NEVER ‘framed’ anyone else or even insinuated anyone else as being involved in my production of documents of your MILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF WASTE, Safety concerns, lying to investors/the WORLD. Putting cars on the road with safety issues is being a horrible human being!”
Musk: “There are literally injuries[sic] with Model 3. It is by far the safest car in the world for any midsize vehicle. And of course a company with billions of dollars in product is going to have millions of dollars in scrap. This is not news. However, betraying your word of honor, breaking the deal you had when Tesla gave you a job and framing your colleagues are wrong and some come with legal penalties. So it goes. Be well.
Musk commented on the email exchange, calling it “unwise” on his part and further stated: “He initiated the email exchange this morning at 8.57am. I certainly would not have initiated contact, nor would I even know his personal email address, and it was probably unwise for me to have responded.”