Tesla closing solar offices in several states

25 June 2018, 01:26 | Andres Norman

SALWAN GEORGES WASHINGTON POST The sabotage comes as Tesla ramps up Model 3 production

The sabotage comes as Tesla ramps up Model 3 production

On Wednesday, the USA e-car company sued the former employee for allegedly taking large amounts of data about the company's manufacturing system and making what it claims were false statements to the media.

This week, the company filed suit in federal court in Nevada alleging former process technician Martin Tripp is the culprit, according to a report by CNBC. The complaint says Tripp wrote code that was operating on three computer systems of other employees so that data could be exported after he left the company and it would look like those employees were guilty of the hacking.

Describing Tripp as "disruptive and combative" with colleagues, the attorneys also said he had been disgruntled after being assigned to a new role. Confirmed emails exchanged that day between him and Musk, provided to The Post and confirmed by Tesla, show bitter words from both men, but also Tripp saying he had "never made a threat".

Martin Tripp, the former Tesla employee Elon Musk claimed tried to "sabotage" the company, said he was really just acting as a whistleblower. "This includes dozens of confidential photographs and a video of Tesla's manufacturing systems".

The suit also outlined some of the misleading and sabotaging information Tripp had shared with media such as false claims that punctured battery cells had been used in Model 3s and exaggerations regarding the amount of "scrap" material that the firm produced. "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", Tesla claims. Business Insider has contacted Tesla for comment. It said most of the layoffs would come from executive ranks and none from production lines that could impact the rollout of the Model 3.

Over the past year, Tesla has stepped up efforts to sell solar and batteries for energy storage in its retail stores, something Musk said last year was "a much more efficient channel for demand generation".

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Following the debacle, Tripp is now seeking a lawyer and official whistleblower protections.

"I would rather see [Musk] produce 4,500 a week and have there be absolutely no issues with the auto than produce 5,000 a week and have there be issues with the vehicle", he said.

I suggested that instead of building any vehicle, it would be more fun for tour-goers, who are mostly Tesla owners, to help build a part of their own auto. I didn't hack into (the) system.

But he said he grew disillusioned after seeing the company's waste, unsustainable practices and "seeing how Elon was lying to investors about how many cars they were making".

Tesla has not officially commented on Tripps claims of being a whistleblower; Tripp is now trying to secure counsel to represent him in the lawsuit.

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