Rogue Employee Sabotage, Model 3 Refunds, and Other Tesla Woes

Tesla hit with barrage of negative news

Musk Says Tesla Hit With ‘Extensive’ Sabotage by Rogue Employee (Bloomberg)

A disgruntled Tesla Inc. employee broke into the company’s manufacturing operating system and sent highly sensitive data to unknown third parties, according to an email Elon Musk sent to staff.

The worker, who had been denied a promotion, did “quite extensive and damaging sabotage” to Tesla’s operations, Musk wrote in the memo late Sunday, which was reported in full by CNBC. While a spokesman declined to comment, an employee who asked not to be identified confirmed he received the email.

Tesla is conducting an in-depth investigation into the matter, including whether the worker was acting alone, with others at the company, or with any outside organizations, Musk wrote. The electric-car maker’s shares fell as much as 2.3 percent in early trading Tuesday.

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Almost a Quarter of Tesla Model 3 Orders Refunded (Digital Trends)

Despite the optimism and hope from fans for the success of the Tesla Model 3, it seems even some of its potential customers weren’t happy with the issues the company’s been having with the EV’s launch. According to Recode, another production delay recently made headlines, causing a new peak of pre-order cancellations — nearly a quarter of all Model 3’s initial reservations.

Since Tesla’s Elon Musk announced the Model 3 over two years ago, the company began accepting $1,000 deposits while promising the delivery of these vehicles by 2018. Bouncing off of the success of the Model S and Model X, Tesla managed to score several hundred thousand reservation orders.

Things went awry fast, however, as Tesla struggled with production roll-out and quality control issues that made headlines across the world. […] It also raised eyebrows over the handling of the company’s finances.

Many customers have been demanding their money back as a result of these production issues.

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NTSB: Tesla Driver Killed in Crash Did Not Have His Hands on the Wheel (Consumer Affairs)

An onboard system detected no driver input in the seconds before a Tesla Model X crashed into a highway barrier in California, according to a preliminary report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTSB).

The March 23 accident on Highway 101, near Mountain View, Calif., killed the driver, who was alone in the car.

The Tesla’s sophisticated electronics allowed safety investigators to determine precisely what the vehicle was doing, and how it was being controlled, in the moments leading up to the crash. According to the data retrieved from the system, the driver of the 2017 Tesla Model X P100D was using Tesla’s traffic-aware cruise control and autosteer lane-keeping assistance, also known as Autopilot.

As the car approached a paved “gore area” dividing the main travel lane of U.S. Highway 101 from the state Highway 85 exit ramp, it moved to the left and hit a previously damaged lane divider at 71 miles per hour. The system did not detect the driver’s hands on the wheel in the seconds before the crash.

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An Emotional Elon Musk Lays Out Tesla’s Future Plans and Admits He Has a Problem With Time (Entrepreneur)

Time isn’t Elon Musk’s strong suit. As the CEO of two companies intent on delivering technological advances to the public in due course, that can be a problem.

Musk runs both electric car company Tesla and space travel company SpaceX, and timing is an issue he addressed openly in Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday. Musk recalled that when he and his brother Kimbal Musk (also a Tesla board member) used to take the bus to school, Kimbal would lie to Elon about the time, saying the bus left earlier. That way, when Elon was inevitably late, they’d still be able to catch it.

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About the Author

Stacey Jo
Stacey is our reporter on the beat always on the lookout for breakthrough ideas, inventions, and stories about how humankind is advancing its mobility.