Tesla Whistleblower Files SEC Complaint, Alleging Inflated Statistics

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Jul 12, 2018

A former Tesla engineer has filed a formal complaint with the SEC, saying the company is misleading investors by inflating production figures and omitting potentially dangerous safety flaws, according to CNN Money. Martin Tripp, the former engineer, made the complaint in June, but his lawyers made it public on Wednesday. The complaint concerns three main points: 

First, Tripp said that the number of Model 3 cars the company produces is as much as 44 percent lower than what it reported to investors. Tesla's SEC filing claims that more than 5,000 vehicles a week are coming off its production line. 

Second, he said that Tesla hasn't been telling anyone about severe safety flaws in its electric cars, saying that vehicles contain dangerous puncture holes, and adding that battery cells are either being placed too close together or are improperly attached. 

Third, he claimed that Tesla systematically reuses parts that have already been deemed scrap or waste, without regarding to safety. 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has previously said that Tripp is trying to sabotage the company and claimed that the engineer had hacked the manufacturing operating system and stolen internal data. Tripp is currently being sued by the company, which he said has been very difficult on him. 

Beyond possible financial shenanigans, CNBC said that workers in the company's California factory are reporting harsh conditions and intense pressure to meet production goals. Exhausted workers say they were given Red Bull to stay awake and forced to walk through raw sewage that had spilled on the factory floor in order to keep the production line going. Teslsa said it had not been aware of this. 

Click here to see more of the latest news from the NYSSCPA.