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Former Tesla employee's tweets show allegedly flawed batteries (update)

Martin Tripp also released a list of VINs for cars that he says are equipped with flawed battery modules.
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Engadget

The employee Tesla is suing for theft of proprietary information has tweeted photos and other details, perhaps in an attempt to back up some of the claims he made against the automaker. Two of the photos Martin Tripp has tweeted out show what he says is a damaged* battery module used in Model 3 vehicles before and after it was "reworked." Tripp has also released a lengthy list of Vehicle Identity Numbers. He says the cars in the list use punctured, dented or damaged battery modules.

In addition, he tweeted photos of a parking lot he claims are full of Tesla's scrap and waste products that are supposed to be stored in climate-controlled warehouses:

[Screenshots captured from Wayback Machine]

A Tesla spokesperson told Engadget that those claims aren't true at all and that it has never used punctured cells in any Model 3 vehicles. Further, the company says all the cars in the VIN list are equipped with safe batteries:

"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."

In Tesla's lawsuit against the former employee, it said he admitted that he created software to hack Tesla's manufacturing OS and that he sent large amounts of data to parties outside of the company. Tripp is now denying that accusation, claiming that he "can code about as well as a 3 year old." He also says that he was interrogated for two days and that two of his interrogators came to Tesla from Uber.

After Tesla sued Tripp, the company had to tighten its security at the Gigafactory following a report that the former employee was planning to shoot up the place. The automaker also served Facebook and Dropbox with subpoenas in an effort to see what confidential data it believes the former employee leaked. Tripp responded to all those by filing a whistleblower complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission, accusing Tesla of misleading investors and putting customers at risk.

Update: It appears Twitter has suspended Tripp's access to the social network, but you can still see all his tweets.

*Update 2: Corrected the post to say the pictures show a damaged battery module, since there's no visible puncture. Thanks, Jason!

Update 3 (08/17/18 5AM ET): Twitter has pulled Martin Tripp's account.

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