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Tesla has filed a lawsuit against a former employee alleging he “unlawfully hacked the company’s confidential and trade secret information and transferred that information to third parties.”
The company is seeking $1 million from the former employee, Martin Tripp, who worked as a process technician.
According to the petition, Tesla says Tripp admitted to writing software to hack the company’s manufacturing operating system and transferring “several gigabytes” of data, including photos and videos, to outside entities. Tesla says Tripp also made false claims to the media about the information he stole.
“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 petition says. “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.”
Tesla says Tripp’s actions were retaliation for being assigned a different role at the company.
According to the lawsuit, Tesla has only begun to understand the full scope of Tripp’s illegal activity.
There is more, but the actions of a few bad apples will not stop Tesla from reaching its goals. With 40,000 people, the worst 1 in 1000 will have issues. That’s still ~40 people.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 20, 2018
Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk tweeted Wednesday about the lawsuit. “There is more, but the actions of a few bad apples will not stop Tesla from reaching its goals,” he wrote.
The full petition is available here.