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Heated email exchange between Elon Musk and alleged factory saboteur surfaces

Updated Jun 21st, 2018 7:12PM EDT

Yesterday afternoon, Tesla filed a sensational lawsuit against former employee Martin Tripp for stealing company data and hacking Telsa’s assembly-line machines. According to the suit, Tripp was frustrated about being looked over for a promotion and, in an effort to stick it to the powers that be, subsequently set out to steal sensitive company data and possibly sabotage Tesla’s production line.

As Elon Musk explained in an email to employees over the weekend, “I was dismayed to learn this weekend about a Tesla employee who had conducted quite extensive and damaging sabotage to our operations. This included making direct code changes to the Tesla Manufacturing Operating System under false usernames and exporting large amounts of highly sensitive Tesla data to unknown third parties.”

Not 24 hours after Tesla’s lawsuit was filed, heated emails between Tripp and Tesla CEO Elon Musk have been brought to the surface courtesy of the Washington Post. Interestingly, though perhaps not surprisingly, Tripp seems to want to position himself as a whistle blower as opposed to a saboteur. Specifically, Tripp claims that Tesla shipped punctured batteries with the Model 3, that the Model 3 is dangerous as a result, and that Musk has been busy lying to investors.

The email action began yesterday morning when Musk called Tripp to task for allegedly having an acquaintance of his threaten to shoot up Tesla’s Gigafactory.

Musk told Tripp that he should be ashamed of himself for framing other people and that he is a horrible human being.

Responding three minutes later, Tripp said:

I NEVER ‘framed’ anyone else or even insinuated anyone else as being involved in my production of documents of your MILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF WASTE, Safety concerns, lying to investors [and] the WORLD.

Putting cars on the road with safety issues is being a horrible human being.

Musk, of course, swiftly responded with jabs of his own, adding that the Model 3 is the safest midsize vehicle on the planet:

And of course a company with billions of dollars in product is going to have millions of dollars in scrap. This is not news.

However, betraying your word of honor, breaking the deal you had when Tesla gave you a job and framing your colleagues are wrong and some come with legal penalties. So it goes. Be Well.

Tripp’s tenure with Tesla began at the Gigafactory last October and, suffice it to say, it was far from a harmonious relationship.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.

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