Tesla 'Whistleblower' Airs Alleged Evidence on Twitter

Martin Tripp says photos, documents prove dangerous practices
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2018 7:50 AM CDT

(Newser) – A former Tesla technician continues to cause headaches for CEO Elon Musk. "Are you ready?" Martin Tripp tweeted Wednesday before unleashing internal documents and photos he alleges show scrap piles, "bent" cooling tubes, and "reworked" M3 battery modules at Tesla's battery factory in Nevada, backing his claims of dangerous practices, per Business Insider. (His Twitter account was down as of Thursday morning, with Gizmodo reporting he had received a 12-hour suspension, ostensibly after tweeting Elon Musk's email address.) Before his account was suspended, Tripp also shared dozens of vehicle identification numbers of cars built with what he says are "punctured/dented/damaged" battery cells, allegedly the result of a robot that malfunctioned in February.

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"This is how @elonmusk and his business operates. He's taking money and fooling everyone," added Tripp, who is suing his former employer for defamation. "As we've said before, these claims are false," a Tesla rep tells CNBC. "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." Yet Tripp isn’t the only ex-employee making such claims. Per Business Insider, former Tesla engineer Cristina Balan says she was silenced and left the company in 2014 after airing concerns about design flaws, part defects, and waste. "As soon as the Model S came out the door and Elon realized how cool he'd become, everything went down the drain," she says. (Read more Tesla stories.)

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