Tesla is not going through a good phase. The company has been struggling to accelerate the production of the Model 3 for months, and the semi-autonomous steering system of the autopilot has been the subject of complaints and even lawsuits. Another problem has recently arisen: Tesla has confirmed the dismissal of an employee for stealing trade secrets.
The former employee’s name is now Martin Tripp. He began working at Gigafactory, a Tesla plant in Nevada, USA, in October 2017 as a process technician. In this role, he had access to confidential information about the company’s batteries.
Research shows that Tripp wanted to maintain a higher position within the company. Apparently, he had misbehaved with his colleagues because of this, so Tesla decided in May this year to change his role.
In revenge, Tripp began to act as a saboteur. The former employee admitted that he wrote software that had infiltrated Tesla’s internal systems and transferred several gigabytes of confidential data to third parties, all without authorization. The data includes dozens of photos and a video of the factory’s operations.
According to Tesla, the software periodically exports data from the internal network to third parties. They have been installed on other employees’ computers, so the data will continue even if Tripp leaves the company. If the activity was discovered, the other employees would be blamed.
Not only that. Tesla says Tripp made false statements about the company, including allegations that some Model 3 units left the factory with perforated batteries and that manufacturing processes generated a large amount of scrap metal, allegedly a reference to a publication of Business Insider . which says that about 40% of the production raw material has to be thrown away or reused.
What’s happening now In addition to being fired, Martin Tripp is facing trial. Tesla claims a $ 1 million lawsuit. The company also asks authorities to inspect computers, storage devices, phone history, email accounts and other services used by the former employee.
Elon Musk often talks about many things that happen in his companies. It was no different here. As the above tweet shows, the businessman told a reporter from Ars Technica that there are several such processes, but he was also optimistic: «the actions of some bad apples will not prevent Tesla from achieving its goals.»
With information: TechCrunch, Ars Technica, Motherboard.