This past Sunday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent an email to employees describing the actions of a particular ex-employee who stole company data and manipulated its operating system. The email didn’t go into specifics, but a recently filed lawsuit gives all the details.
Tesla filed a lawsuit Thursday in the U.S. District Court in Nevada against former employee Martin Tripp, a process technician at the company’s Gigafactory. The suit alleges Tripp hacked company trade secrets and transferred the data to third parties. He’s also accused of exaggerating claims and then leaked info to news outlets.
You can read the full lawsuit below:
Tripp started at Tesla last October. In the lawsuit, like in the Musk email, Tripp was upset he did not receive a promotion. His supervisors assigned him to a new job position on May 17 and soon after began the alleged hacking. Tripp wrote code to hack Tesla’s Manufacturing Operating System and steal confidential data. This includes code, video, and photographs of the company’s manufacturing systems while attempting to cover up his actions. The suit alleges he sent the stolen info to third parties, but did not provide any names of the parties involved.
Regarding claims leaked to media outlets, the lawsuit details an occurrence when Tripp falsely claimed punctured battery cells were used in Model 3 vehicles. He also “exaggerated the true amount and value of ‘scrap’ material that Tesla generated during the manufacturing process.”
In his original email, Musk writes Tripp did confess to the hacking, which is mentioned in the lawsuit as well. Tesla will seek damages from Tripp, but does not specify an amount.
Even with the sabotage, including a small fire in the factory, Tesla came closer to its goal for Model 3s produced by making 6,000 of the affordable electric car in the month of June.