Sabotage at Tesla Production Line

Apparently, news of a serious case of sabotage at the Tesla factory in Fremont in California were reported in an email that Tesla-CEO Elon Musk sent at the beginning of this week to Tesla employees. Tesla is right now working on ramping up their production of the Model 3 to 5,000 per week, and competitors are anxious seeing how the Model 3 has already managed to take the top spot in market share.

Elon Musk speculates in his email to Tesla employees about possible case of industrial espionage, and of outside sabotage. Here is Elon Musk’s email:

Subject: Some Concerning News

I was dismayed to learned this weekend about a Tesla employee who had conducted quite extensive and damaging sabotage to our operations. This includes making direct code changes to the Tesla Manufacturing Operating System under false usernames and exporting large amounts of highly sensitive Tesla data to unknown third parties.

The full extent of his actions are not yet clear, but what he has admitted to so far is pretty bad. His motivation is that he wanted a promotion that he did not receive. In light of these actions, not promoting him was definitely the right move.

However, there may be considerably more to this situation than meets the eye, so the investigation will continue in depth this week. We need to figure out if he was acting alone or with others at Tesla and if he was working with any outside organizations.

As you know, there are a long list of organizations that want Tesla to die. These include Wall Street short-sellers, who have already lost billions of dollars and stand to lose a lot more. Then there are the oil & gas companies, the wealthiest industries in the world – they don’t love the idea of Tesla advancing the progress of solar power & electric cars. Don’t want to blow your mind, but rumor has it that those companies are sometimes not super nice. Then there are the multitude of big gas/diesel car company competitors. If they’re willing to cheat so much about emissions, maybe they’re willing to cheat in other ways?

Most of the time, when there is theft of goods, of leaking confidential information, dereliction of duty or outright sabotage, the reason really is something simple like wanting to get back at someone within the company or at the company as a whole. Occasionally, it is much more serious.

Please be extremely vigilant, particularly over the next few weeks as we ramp up the production rate to 5k/week. This is the strongest motivation to stop us.

If you know of, see or suspect anything suspicious, please send a note to REDACTED with as much information as possible. This can be done in your name, which will be kept confidential, or completely anonymous.

Looking forward to having a great week with you as we charge up the super exciting ramp to 5000 Model 3 cars per week!

Thanks for working so hard to make Tesla successful,


Although this case of sabotage has signs of revenge written all over it, outside factors are not impossible. With all the aggressive time line and the high pressure that is put on the employees, sabotage is still pretty unusual.

This article has also been published in German.

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