Tesla is suing a former employee named Martin Tripp who allegedly stole gigabytes worth of confidential information, CNBC reports. The stolen data includes “dozens of confidential photographs and a video of Tesla’s manufacturing systems,” but Tesla also told CNBC it is still uncovering the full extent of Tripp’s illegal activity. The lawsuit also accuses Tripp of writing code that would periodically send Tesla data to people outside the company as well as lying to the media.
"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 said. "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."
Furthermore, the lawsuit claims Tripp engaged in all this illegal activity in retaliation for not being given a more senior role within the company.
This news comes just days after CNBC reported that Elon Musk had e-mailed all Tesla employees about a possible “saboteur in the company’s ranks.” Although it remains unclear if the person Musk references in his email is indeed Martin Tripp, Musk wrote that the person had achieved "quite extensive and damaging sabotage" to Tesla which included changing code and exporting data to unauthorized outsiders because he was angry at not getting a promotion.
All of this is happening in the midst of a company restructuring that has resulted in 9 percent of Tesla’s workforce being laid off. Plus, back in March, Tesla was forced to recall 123,000 Model S vehicles due to a faulty steering component.
Difficult, but necessary Tesla reorg underway. My email to the company has already leaked to media. Here it is unfiltered: pic.twitter.com/4LToWoxScx— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 12, 2018