Let this be a warning to other possible troublemakers.
According to reports by Bloomberg, Tesla has caught an employee who "maliciously sabotaged" part of its Freemont factory last month. Following an internal investigation, the unnamed employee was fired. So what exactly happened? According to an email sent to Tesla employees earlier this week by Al Prescott, vice president of legal and acting general counsel, the chain of events happened quite fast.
"Two weeks ago, our IT and InfoSec teams determined than [sic] an employee had maliciously sabotaged a part of the Factory," Prescott wrote in the email. "Their quick actions prevented further damage and production was running smoothly again a few hours later."
The Tesla Model S, Model 3, Model X, and Model Y are all built at Freemont, hence the severity of the situation. It also appears Tesla has been handling the situation without law enforcement's assistance. But what did the now-terminated employee do?
The report didn't provide specific details, although the employee allegedly attempted to "cover up his tracks" by blaming a co-worker and destroying a company computer. "Ultimately, after being shown the irrefutable evidence, the employee confessed. As a result, we terminated employment."
This isn't the first time that Tesla has faced deliberate attempts of sabotage, which is why it now has a major internal security network.
Just last month, Tesla successfully thwarted a $1 million ransomware attack by a Russian hacker at its Nevada Gigafactory. Other alleged saboteur attempts happened in 2016 and 2018. For now, Tesla has chosen not to comment any further on this latest incident.
Was the employee attempting to steal company secrets? Could he have been attempting to install malicious software into the main computer system? Or, was this nothing more than a case of a disgruntled factory employee who did something stupid? Given that Tesla has officially shut down its entire PR department, we may never know.