The now-public dispute between Tesla and former aggrieved employee Martin Tripp has continued to get uglier since news of Tripp’s alleged sabotage was first reported by CNBC. On Thursday, Tesla filed a lawsuit against Tripp which alleges he made misleading statements to press and hacked the company’s manufacturing operating system. A Tesla spokesperson tells Inverse that “actions are being taken to enhance security at the Gigafactory.”
News of Tripp’s alleged sabotage was first revealed to Tesla employees by Musk in a Sunday night email. After the lawsuit was filed, Tripp spoke with the Washington Post’s Drew Harwell, revealing a series of highly contentious emails he reportedly exchanged with Musk.
“You have what’s coming to you,” Tripp reportedly said.
“Threatening me only makes it worse,” Musk replied. He has since reportedly told the Guardian’s Julia Carrie Wong that replying to Tripp’s email directly was probably “unwise.”
Tripp is currently seeking an attorney and whistleblower protections, according to Harwell’s report. For its part, Tesla strongly disavows the notion that Tripp is a whistleblower, and says all of his claims — which include that the company used punctured battery cells in some Tesla Model 3 cars — are easily disprovable. There have been no reports of safety issues stemming from batteries in the Model 3.
A media contact listed for sheriff’s office in Storey County didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, though the Washington Post reports that the office found no credible evidence of a threat.