TESLA HAS made good on its promise to rat out an alleged saboteur at the company, although he claims that he wasn’t a spy, but rather a whistleblower.
After a company-wide email in which Tesla boss Elon Musk accused an unnamed employee of doing the dirty on him, the feds swooped on Martin Tripp, accusing him of hacking, stealing secrets and all the usual industrial espionage malarky.
Tripp, who was fired last week, told the Washington Post (paywalled) that, in fact, he was trying to expose “some really scary things” including punctured batteries being used in vehicles, which for the uninitiated, well, basically, kablam.
Tesla claims that Tripp actually wrote software specifically to aid in the theft of photos and videos. He will have a hard time denying this as he is said to have provided some of the data to Business Insider for a story they ran last week on its waste practices.
But he claims he has “no patience for coding”. He also rejects claims by Tesla that he acted after failing to get a promotion. “I could literally care less”, he retorted.
Tripp is looking for legal protection as a whistleblower, but Tesla isn’t biting, claiming that he acted with malice toward the company. It is seeking an injunction to inspect computers and other devices, and will be seeking “untold damages”.
Musk hinted on Twitter that this isn’t the end of the story:
“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.”
Tripp moved to a new life in Nevada to work for Tesla, seeing it as a golden opportunity, but he says he became disillusioned after “seeing how Elon was lying to investors about how many cars they were making.”
“I wanted to leave the world better for my son.” he added, “And I felt I was doing everything but that.”
Tripp now sees Musk as “narcissistic” and someone who “only cares about himself”.
Musk has had significant issues with the rollout of the Tesla 3, which he blamed in part on “too much” automation. The waiting list continues as Musk is hands on in trying to get the plant up to its projected capacity of 5000 cars a week. µ
Source : Inquirer