Technology

Alleged Tesla saboteur defends himself as a whistleblower

The alleged saboteur who's being sued by Tesla says he's a whistleblower revealing dangerous practices at the electric car manufacturer.

The former employee, Martin Tripp, told the Washington Post on Thursday that he did not tamper with internal company code, as alleged by Tesla's lawyers.

"I don't have the patience for coding," he said.

Tripp told the publication that instead, he was shining a light on "really scary things" he saw at Tesla, including punctured batteries making their way into Tesla vehicles. The company has challenged that claim, saying they work to maintain high safety standards.

Tripp also confirmed that he had leaked information to news outlets such as Business Insider about Tesla's battery waste. The auto maker has challenged his assertions on that front.

Tripp said he was fired on Tuesday following questioning at Tesla last week.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Tripp exchanged emails on Wednesday, with Musk calling him "a horrible human being."

An all staff email on Sunday from Musk focused on a supposed saboteur within the ranks of the company who had changed internal code and leaked information to parties outside Tesla.

"The full extent of his actions are not yet clear, but what he has admitted to so far is pretty bad," Musk wrote.

When asked on Twitter if Tripp was the unnamed employee in the email, Musk replied "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."

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