It seems that widespread suspicions that Tesla CEO Elon Musk resorted to cutting corners in his pursuit of ramping up Model 3 production to meet his lofty production targets may be valid.
Martin Tripp - the former Tesla engineer who on June 20 was sued by Tesla for trying to "sabotage" the company - is alleging several egregious safety violations that, if true, could destroy what remains of Musk's tattered credibility.
In an email sent by Meissner Associates, a law firm which has represented whistleblowers to the SEC and which was retained by the whistleblower, Tripp alleged that Tesla made misstatements to investors about placing batteries with holes punctured in them into vehicles to help pad out its Model 3 production numbers in pursuit of Musk's goal of producing 5,000 Model 3s a week.
He also alleged that Tesla placed battery cells too close together and didn't properly secure them, raising the risk of future combustion, and that the company "systematically" reused parts that had been deemed to be scrap or waste.
Tripp's claims remind us of some inconsistencies highlighted by Vertical Group's Gordon Johnson, who pointed out that some of the supposedly "finished" cars had been labeled "factory gated", meaning they still required additional testing and quality inspections.
So far Tesla shares appear unaffected by the report.