Tesla files lawsuit against former employee who hacked its systems

Tesla has filed a lawsuit against Martin Tripp, the former employee who allegedly orchestrated a hack and subsequent data leak on the company's operating systems last week.

Musk accused Tripp of "extensive and damaging sabotage" in an email circulated to staff on Sunday night, which was followed by another email regarding a small fire on the production line for Tesla's Model Three sedan.

Read more: Elon Musk accuses Tesla employees of sabotage, as its share price falls

Filed today in the US state of Nevada where Tesla's main factories for the Model Three are housed, company lawyers called Tripp's actions "willfull and malicious", and "done with the deliberate intention to injure Tesla's business".

Though at the time Tripp's name was not revealed to the public, Musk said in his email that the former employee had admitted to the accusations levelled against him.

The lawsuit also says that Tripp made false statements to the press regarding production delays for the Model Three, which is under pressure as staff rush to meet Musk's goal of 5,000 cars per week by the end of the month.

Read more: Tesla cuts nine per cent of staff as Elon Musk aims at profitability

Tesla said in a statement: "Although Tesla's investigation is ongoing, it has already suffered significant and continuing damages as a result of Tripp's misconduct, which it seeks to recover through this action."

According to reports, the electric vehicle manufacturer is seeking $1bn (£757m) in damages, among other forms of relief.

Tesla's share price has risen slightly on the news by 0.82 per cent, after falling by up to 5.35 per cent during trading yesterday as the sabotage attempt was announced in the press.

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