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Tesla 'whistleblower' files tip with the SEC (TSLA)

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Former Tesla employee Martin Tripp alleged the company has lied to investors and used unsafe batteries in its cars. Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Former Tesla employee Martin Tripp has filed a whistleblower tip with the Securities and Exchange Commission in which he alleges the company lied about Model 3 production numbers and put unsafe batteries in its cars, The Washington Post reports.

According to the Post, which spoke with Tripp’s attorney Stuart Meissner, the complaint repeats claims Tripp had previously made to Business Insider, including that Tesla used batteries with puncture holes in vehicles meant for consumers. Tesla has previously denied this claim.

Tripp also now claims the company overreported Model 3 production by up to 44%, according to the Post.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the company told Fortune in June that production numbers couldn’t be faked because the figures are “updated in real-time on screens in the factory, plainly visible to anyone passing by.”

The SEC declined a request for comment.

In June, Tesla filed a lawsuit against Tripp, alleging that he hacked confidential company information and gave it to parties outside the company.

The lawsuit claims Tripp installed hacking software on the computers of three colleagues that would continue to export company data after he left the company while making it appear as if his colleagues had chosen to send the data to third parties.

In an email exchange with Tripp, Tesla CEO Elon Musk called him “a horrible human being.”

Tripp refuted Tesla’s claims in response to Musk, saying, “I NEVER ‘framed’ anyone else or even insinuated anyone else as being involved in my production of documents of your MILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF WASTE, Safety concerns, lying to investors/the WORLD.”

In an interview with The Guardian, Tripp said he leaked information about the company because his supervisors and other senior employees were not responsive to his concerns. He also told The Guardian he did not intend to commit sabotage against the company, but was instead concerned about safety.

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