Tesla wins case against Gigafactory whistleblower

Tesla has won its case against a whistleblower who was fired for hacking and transferring company data to a news publication.

The electric automaker had filed a lawsuit against former Gigafactory employee Martin Tripp in 2018 after he got caught leaking an exposé to Business Insider. According to the information Tripp leaked, Tesla was shipping cars with unsafe batteries and wasting a “jaw dropping” amount of materials as it ramped up production of the Model 3 sedan.

In its suit, Tesla claimed that Tripp had admitted to writing software that hacked the carmaker’s manufacturing operating system, transferring several gigabytes of its data to third parties and making false claims to the media.

The US District Court of Nevada said in its ruling that it will grant Tesla’s motions to seal “because compelling reasons support them, and they are unopposed.”

The court also denied Tripp’s motion for leave to file an additional reply, citing it as “unnecessary.”

The ruling puts an end to a messy saga that saw Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly wage a ruthless campaign against Tripp that included orchestrating a stunt to falsely portray him as a lunatic who threatened to shoot up the Gigafactory.

While investigating to see if Tripp was the leaker, former Gigafactory security manager Sean Gouthro said Tesla’s security team somehow hacked into Tripp’s phone and were able to read his texts in real-time.

Tesla, Tripp and the law firms leading the case did not immediately respond when Reuters contacted them late Thursday.

With Post wires