Tesla has taken legal action against a former employee who allegedly stole essential company data and leaked it to the press.
Tesla Versus Martin Tripp
CNBC learned that the electric car maker filed a lawsuit against former company technician Martin Tripp on June 20 in Nevada. The legal papers report that Tripp allegedly exported gigabytes of top secret information. Tesla added that this vital information contained classified images and video of the company's manufacturing machines.
The company believes that Tripp also took advantage of company resources when he hacked into the Tesla manufacturing operating system. They thought that he made a few of the gigabytes and sent them to third parties. Tesla lawyers also believe that Tripp wrote computer code, which allowed him to send company data to others.
They also accused Tripp of lying to the media on several occasions. They accused him of exaggerating the value of "scrap" material that the company used in their manufacturing process and there were pierced batteries in specific Model 3 vehicles.
The lawsuit also revealed that Tripp was furious with company management because he did not get a leadership role. They also added that Tripp was unable to get along with fellow employees.
Martin Tripp Speaks
The Washington Post was able to track down Tripp. He told the media outlet that he was not the person that Tesla allegedly accused of sabotage. Tripp noted that he saw himself as more of a whistleblower. He said that during his time at the electric car maker, he saw firsthand Tesla's alleged bad business practices and needed to let the public know.
Tripp revealed that he looked up to the company's founder, Elon Musk. However, after he saw how Musk was ostensibly covering Tesla's bad business practices, he had to leak out the information.
Tripp then revealed that he was terminated from his position on June 19 and learned of the lawsuit on June 20. The Washington Post also received Tripp's email confrontation with Musk, which the entrepreneur accused him of being a "horrible human being."
"Putting cars on the road with safety issues is being a horrible human being," Tripp answered back.
Tesla News Corner
Tesla shareholders decided to keep Musk as the company's chairman after he revealed to them that the electric car maker creates 3,500 Model 3 units a week. Many technology insiders believed that before Musk's announcement, the company's shareholders would have removed him from the position. This original idea was first conceived after the company failed to meet their weekly targets a few months ago.
A Tesla driver made headlines after they suffered minor injuries following the crash of their vehicle into a Laguna Beach police department SUV. The Tesla Model S was on semi-autonomous Autopilot mode when the accident occurred.
The police officer was not in the vehicle during the time of the crash. Tesla released a statement after the crash to remind drivers to keep their hands on the steering wheel while suing Autopilot.
Tech Times reached out to Tesla for a comment on this story.