Tesla Whistleblower Hires Law Firm Who Won $22.5 Million in Monsanto Case
A former employee whom Tesla Motors labeled as disgruntled and a saboteur has filed a whistleblower complaint against the electric car manufacturer. Martin Tripp, the whistleblower, also hired the services of Meissner Associates, a New York law firm who won $22.5 million in a whistleblower lawsuit against weedkiller manufacturer Monsanto.
Tripp complained to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that Tesla intentionally made “material omissions and misstatements” to investors and employed practices that compromised the safety of Tesla cars.
CNBC reported the exact language used in a statement from Meissner Associates, in which Tripp alleges that the company:
- Placed batteries containing dangerous puncture holes in vehicles which proceeded to the end of the assembly line in a process known internally at Tesla as “Containment AR622” and which input into vehicles was tracked until the end of the assembly line process;
- Overstated to investors the number of Model 3 vehicles being produced each week by as much as 44%. The whistleblower alleges that the famed factory board which reflects a daily Model 3 production count and often referred to by Tesla is inflated;
- Lowered vehicle specifications impacting upon safety such as placing battery cells too close to one another and which were not properly affixed, risking future combustion; and
- Systematically reused parts already deemed scrap/waste in vehicles without regard to safety.
Stuart Meissner of Meissner Associates said the way Tesla handled Tripp’s allegations showed that Tesla has no regards for its employees and he likened Tripp’s complaints to a “David and Goliath case.”
“It’s dramatic and serious as far as the materiality of the omissions and misstatements, and how they effect investors, and the general public regarding potential safety hazards of Tesla vehicles,” Meissner said. “I’ve never seen a company handle an employee who has raised issues internally in such an aggressive manner.”
But to Elon Musk’s Tesla, Tripp was out to damage the company’s business. The automaker reported several months back that Tripp is aggrieved because he was passed over for a promotion. According to the company, Tripp allegedly hacked its systems and sold company data to competitors while all the while telling lies to the media. Tesla has filed a lawsuit against Tripp.