Tesla Whistleblower Countersues Above Elon Musk’s ‘Defamatory’ Statements


The former Gigafactory employee says the CEO’s tweets and the company’s comments led to threats to his personal safety.

The former Tesla employee who was simply sued for allegedly hacking and leaking trade secrets has filed a counterclaim against the business over potentially defamatory comments made by CEO Elon Musk. Martin Tripp, who worked well at Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada until June, says in the brand new filing that a number of remarks Musk made about him during the past couple of weeks – some from a company-extensive email, others in various statements to the press, plus some from a small number of the CEO’s tweets – are false, caused mental distress, and have even resulted in “countless threats to his personal safety”.

Tripp also claims found in the countersuit that he has been forced to relocate, has experienced health issues like stress and anxiety and nausea, and has sleep problems therefore of Musk and the company’s actions over the last month. The counterclaim also contains new details about the information Tripp originally shared with the media. The past Tesla employee is seeking $1 million plus punitive damages.

“Our consumer, Martin Tripp, has been wronged by Tesla in more methods than one”, Robert D. Mitchell, an legal professional representing Tripp, says in a assertion to The Verge. Mitchell says Tesla made “countless bewildering allegations against Mr. Tripp” in its lawsuit, and that the company “has made various, highly-publicized fake and defamatory statements about Mr. Tripp to the media”.

“In an effort to restore his brand, Mr. Tripp has made a decision to fight back against Tesla’s allegations, and we will be privileged to aid him in his attack”, Mitchell says. Tesla didn’t respond to a obtain comment with time for publication. The business is scheduled to record its second quarter earnings and production figures on Wednesday.

Tesla and Musk’s open public back-and-forth with Tripp commenced on June 17th, during a time when the company was in a good mad dash to meet up its goal of creating 5,000 Model 3s in a single week. The CEO informed his personnel in a late-nights email an employee “had conducted quite extensive and harming sabotage to [the company’s] functions. This employee, Musk wrote, made direct code changes to the Tesla Production Operating System and exported “huge amounts of highly sensitive Tesla info to unknown third parties”.

Tesla sued Tripp later that week in Nevada District Court, alleging that he was behind the misdeeds that Musk had called out found in the email. Tripp, according to Tesla, wrote computer software to hack the company’s manufacturing system, improperly gave the information he found to “third parties” and to the media, but also made false statements about the company’s inner workings.

Tesla argued that Tripp was the source of details for what the business believes was a misleading Organization Insider story about its struggles during production of the Model 3. Specifically, that story – which Organization Insider sourced to “internal documents” experienced by the publication – focused on allegations that Tesla was making a lot of scrap materials and that the business was using damaged battery modules in a few of its Model 3s. The business said in its lawsuit that Tripp exaggerated the true amount and value of “scrap” materials that Tesla generated through the manufacturing method and denied claims about the punctured batteries.

In his countersuit, Tripp switches into further detail about why (and how) he believes Tesla used these punctured battery modules. He says that he was informed by multiple Tesla co-workers that a “teach pin” have been mistakenly kept on a robot that was utilized to make electric battery modules at the Gigafactory. As the robot grabbed the battery pack modules, Tripp claims he was informed that pin dented or punctured the outer plastic material coating. Tripp says “about 1,173 electric battery modules”, were ruined as a result.

Tripp says he was first told by other Tesla specialists that, rather than discarding these damaged modules, they instead were “reworked” by squeezing a great adhesive in to the punctured electric battery cell and gluing a bit of clamshell over the adhesive. This only gave the looks that there was no damage, nonetheless it did little or nothing to mitigate the risk of fires due to the punctures, Tripp statements. Tripp then says he applied Tesla’s manufacturing operating-system to track the influenced modules over an interval of a couple of days.

“The tracking system showed that the dented and/or punctured electric battery modules, rather than being discarded, were being used in Version 3 vehicles”, the countersuit claims. Tripp finally identified that 732 of the damaged electric battery modules “were found in Model 3 vehicles that were shipped to or had been in the process to be shipped to customers”.

In the immediate aftermath of Tesla’s lawsuit against Tripp, company representatives claimed that Tripp was going to return to the Gigafactory and shoot the area up, saying that they had heard it from a pal of Tripp’s. In response, Tripp told The Washington Content that the declare was “absurd” and said that local police found to credible threat. Tripp additional addresses this specific incident in his countersuit. He argues that Tesla wasn’t able to provide law enforcement with a brand of the “good friend of Mr. Tripp” and that the company “given inconsistent responses to law enforcement” about if the caller was female or male.

Weeks after Tesla sued Tripp, Musk directed a number of tweets at journalist Linette Lopez, the writer of the business enterprise Insider report. He said Lopez “released several false articles about Tesla” and asked her if she “compensate[d] or guarantee[d] to pay Martin Tripp for inside information about Tesla?” Tripp claims in his countersuit that he “hasn’t received any settlement from Ms. Lopez, nor possesses Ms. Lopez ever supplied Mr. Tripp any compensation or promise of reimbursement”, and he argues that Musk’s tweets falsely imply that he was bribed by the journalist. Tripp says Musk pass on “false allegations and/or implications” to 22 million supporters which were “defamatory and were posted with negligence”.

“Tesla features used strong-arm methods and a good defamatory smear marketing campaign in an effort to bury the disconcerting details Martin Tripp learned due to a good Tesla employee also to discredit Mr. Tripp before the public”, Mitchell says. “By submitting its lawsuit against Mr. Tripp, Tesla has forced the issues to the forefront, and Mr. Tripp looks frontward to defending himself before a jury of his peers by exhibiting that what he witnessed and repeatedly reported at Tesla is, actually, true”.