In a company-wide email sent out on Sunday night, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has alleged that an employee has been sabotaging operations at the company.
Tesla is dismissing more than 3,000 workers from its California headquarters and beyond, according to a report from Bloomberg. While a spokesman declined to comment, an employee who asked not to be identified confirmed he received the email.
In an email to staff, Mr Musk said an unnamed employee made unspecified coding changes to its manufacturing operating system and sent sensitive data to unnamed third parties.
Musk went on to say that there is more to the situation and an investigation is looking into whether the employee was acting alone, with others at Tesla or with outside organizations.
The company last week disclosed a corporate restructuring aimed at cutting 9 per cent of its workforce while sparing Model 3 production employees.
Fremont police didn't receive or respond to any calls for service at the Tesla plant over the weekend, according to a spokeswoman.
The news comes on the heels of another Musk tweet that congratulated employees for building the first all-wheel-drive Performance version of the Model 3. In it, he talks about "another unusual incident that was hard to explain": a small fire at the Fremont facility on Sunday-the fifth since 2014. "Could just be a random event, but as Andy Grove said, 'Only the paranoid survive.'" Musk wrote.
The automaker is ramping up efforts to meet its goal of producing 5,000 Model 3s, the company's attempt to offer a more affordable vehicle that would allow it to break into the broader consumer market.
To pump up auto production, Tesla needed a new general assembly line - but didn't have time to construct a new building, according to a Musk tweet. The findings are mixed about whether that leaves the company enough margin to sell the cars at $35,000 and still cover investments in future product, expand its Supercharger network, and accommodate increased production costs from the assembly line that now takes more manual labor than Musk originally planned.
The tweet was in response to a question that referenced short sellers being concerned about Tesla's recent manufacturing expansion. In an email released by Musk on Twitter, he said the cuts will "not affect our ability to meet Model 3 production targets in the coming months". Then there are the oil & gas companies, the wealthiest industry in the world - they don't love the idea of Tesla advancing the progress of solar power & electric cars.