Tesla fires employee for allegedly trying to sabotage Fremont factory

Tesla Fremont
Tesla's Fremont factory - Dai Sugano / Bay Area News Group

Tesla has notified workers at its Fremont facility that an employee was recently fired after attempting to “maliciously sabotage” the factory last month.

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In an email sent Monday by Tesla’s vice president of legal and acting general counsel Al Prescott, employees were able to quickly respond to the incident, preventing the factory from sustaining damage.

“Two weeks ago, our IT and InfoSec teams determined than [sic] an employee had maliciously sabotaged a part of the Factory. Their quick actions prevented further damage and production was running smoothly again a few hours later.”

During the subsequent internal investigation, it was found the employee tried to blame a co-worker for the act and also attempted to destroy a computer, all in an effort to cover his tracks. The employee, who was not named in the email, eventually confessed after being shown “irrefutable evidence” of his actions, reports Bloomberg.

Prescott warned factory workers the company does not look lightly upon acts of unethical behaviour and will take all action necessary against those who threaten the company or its employees.

“We place tremendous trust in our employees and value everyone’s contribution. However, whatever the personal motivations of the attacker were, these are crimes, violations of our code of conduct, and are unfair to other employees. We will take aggressive action to defend the company and our people.”

This is the second recently reported attempt of sabotage involving Tesla. Last month a Russian man, Egor Igorevich Kriuchkov, was arrested for attempting to bribe an employee at Gigafactory 1 in Nevada. In exchange for up to $1 million, the employee was supposed to install ransomware on Tesla’s computer systems. The employee notified Tesla who in turn notified the FBI, and Kriuchkov was eventually arrested in Los Angeles while attempting to flee the country.

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In a recent court appearance, Kriuchkov pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to intentionally cause damage to a protected computer.

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