Tesla Sues Former Employee for $1 Million Over Data Theft and Sabotage

Tesla, one of the world's leading electric auto maker, instituted a lawsuit against an ex-employee on Wednesday alleging that he transferred "gigabytes" of confidential data to third parties. "Tesla has only begun to understand the full scope of Tripp's illegal activity, but he 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". Furthermore, the suit alleges that Tripp provided false information to the media and attempted to recruit other Tesla employees to join his backlash.

A former Tesla employee at its Gigafactory near Reno, Nevada, allegedly tried to sabotage the company.

Tripp has also been accused of making his exploit redundant, placing it on at least three separate internal workstations so that this espionage would continue even after he left the company. His superiors are said to have had issues with the process technician's job performance and his sometimes disruptive and combative attitude with colleagues. As a result, Tripp was reassigned to a different role and expressed anger towards the company.

The snafu started Sunday when Elon Musk alerted Tesla employees that a rogue employee "sabotaged" company operations by stealing trade secrets.

The data includes "Tesla's dozens of production videos and confidential photos". He also mentioned the amount of scrap Tesla produces during the manufacturing process, and false claims that Tesla has experienced delays in delivering owing to bringing new production equipment online.

Tripp also said he had been alarmed by what he learned while an employee, including what he claimed were hundreds of Model 3s that had dangerously punctured batteries.

Two weeks ago Tesla announced a round of layoffs that would total about 9% of its total workforce.

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".

Tesla did not comment to Reuters directly about the closures.

After revealing some of his evidence to outlets like Business Insider, Tripp is now seeking whistleblower protections and has changed addresses for his family's safety.

"I am being singled out for being a whistleblower". 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. I didn't hack into system. Analysts with GTM Research believe the move by Tesla is a way to cut sales and marketing costs as retailers tend to take a significant portion of the profit.

Tripp, who as of Friday evening had still not secured an attorney, declined to respond to Tesla's new lengthy assertions.

  • Anthony Vega