What to Know
- Tesla whistleblower Martin Tripp tweeted about allegedly damaged batteries shipped by the company.
- Tripp's tweets also detailed alleged manufacturing inefficiencies at the factory where Tesla makes car batteries.
- The former employee has been engaged in a high-visibility legal fight with Tesla, which claims he stole and shared falsified information.
Tesla whistleblower Martin Tripp is tweeting internal emails, photos and vehicle identification numbers that he says are evidence of flawed manufacturing practices at Tesla's battery factory, and product sold by Tesla that is imperfect, and could put drivers' lives at risk.
Tripp has, in previous interviews, said that Tesla's Gigafactory took dangerous manufacturing shortcuts, and that Elon Musk had direct knowledge of these and failed to intervene.
The lists of vehicle identification numbers, he wrote in the tweets, refer to specific cars that received batteries containing damaged cells that never should have been installed. Here's the first in a string of those tweets:
Tripp also tweeted pictures that he claims prove Tesla is storing waste or scrap in open parking lots and trucks at the Gigafactory, rather than temperature-controlled warehouses. He also shared screen shots of graphics that he says show a high volume of waste at the factory.
Tripp has been fighting a high-profile legal battle with the company after CEO Elon Musk accused him of giving confidential and false about the company's manufacturing practices to the press, and of "hacking" internal systems to do so.
Tripp struck back by formally filing a whistleblower complaint with the SEC.
Tesla once told multiple news outlets, including CNBC, that a tipster called to warn that Tripp was threatening to "shoot up the place." Tripp's attorney, Stuart Meissner, discovered that Tesla never attained the name of the tipster, nor verified whether the person was actually connected to Tripp. Officers in Storey County never discovered a credible threat on Tesla's Gigafactory, and Tripp was completely absolved of those accusations.
A Tesla spokesperson responded:
"As we've said before, these claims are false and Mr. Tripp does not even have personal knowledge about the safety claims that he is making. No punctured cells have ever been used in any Model 3 vehicles in any way, and all VINs that have been identified have safe batteries. Notably, there have been zero battery safety issues in any Model 3."
This story first appeared on CNBC.com. More from CNBC: