Whistleblower says a drug-peddling Mexican cartel thrives in Tesla’s Gigafactory

Tesla Semi Truck

The massive Gigafactory located in the Nevada desert is an important part of Tesla’s supply chain. It’s just as important to the Mexican drug cartel that allegedly sells cocaine and crystal methamphetamine within the factory walls, according to a former Tesla employee named Karl Hansen who filed a complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Tesla strongly disagrees with the accusations.

Hansen hired attorney Stuart Meissner to represent him. In a three-page letter published online on August 16, Meissner explains that his client, who worked in Tesla’s security department before getting fired in July 2018, established a connection between several Tesla employees selling “significant quantities” of drugs in the Gigafactory and a cartel based in Sonora, Mexico. Hansen asked Tesla to contact the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) but the company never reported the findings.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, when it comes to these allegations. Hansen adds Tesla spied on Gigafactory employees by wiretapping and hacking their cell phones and computers. The company even installed specialized router equipment inside the Gigafactory to “capture employee cell phone communications and/or retrieve employee cell phone data.” The letter adds Martin Tripp, another former Tesla worker who also filed a complaint against Tesla, was one of the employees spied on.

Finally, Hansen’s attorney claims Tesla failed to tell its board of directors and its investors that thieves stole copper and other raw materials valued at over $37 million between January and June of 2018. Tesla asked Hansen not to report the theft to law enforcement officials and to stop the internal investigation launched to find the culprits. The SEC hasn’t commented on the accusations yet.

“Some of his claims are outright false. Others could not be corroborated,” Tesla said in a statement, emphasizing Hansen has decided to no longer speak with the company. Company co-founder and CEO Elon Musk told Gizmodo that “this guy is super nuts,” using a peanut emoji instead of the word nuts. “He is simultaneously saying that our security sucks (it’s not great, but I’m pretty sure we aren’t a branch of the Sinaloa cartel like he claims) and that we have amazing spying ability. Those can’t both be true,” he added.

News of the complaint emerged a few days after the SEC subpoenaed Tesla as part of an investigation into a controversial tweet posted by Musk. He said he was considering taking Tesla off the stock market and had the “funding secured” to do so. The tweet has landed the California-based electric car maker in hot water.


Lucid Motors accepts $1 billion investment from Saudi Arabian fund

The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia will invest $1 billion in upstart electric car company Lucid Motors. Lucid hopes to launch a Tesla-fighting luxury sedan called the Air by 2020.

Amazon to crack down on employees who sell confidential info to merchants

Amazon's massive growth in recent years has led to an internal black market where some employees are paid for insider data or illicit services to help merchants gain an edge. Amazon is determined to root out this corruption.

Tesla extends battery capacity to help owners of the older Model S flee Florence

Over 10 million people may be affected by Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas, Virginia, and Georgia. Tesla Motors decided to lend a helping hand to owners of its vehicles who want to escape Florence's path.

Tesla’s latest update reportedly breaks Autopilot rather than improving it

A recent update meant to improve Autopilot functions for Tesla vehicles went awry, crippling the system. Elon Musk personally tweeted to say he's aware of the issue and made it a priority for Tesla engineers.

An elevator in your garage? Boring Company gets OK to test Loop Lift from tunnel

The Hawthorne (California) City Council gave Elon Musk's Boring Company the go-ahead to construct a Loop Lift prototype. The lift will connect the company's existing underground hyperloop to a residential garage.

Uber has decided to leave its broadly derided current logo ‘behind’

Rideshare giant Uber has a new brand image. The new wordmark logo replaces Uber's previous brand icon, a circular graphic that was derided as an "asshole" symbol that walked away from a clear brand identifier.

We get up close with the Vision iNext concept to learn about BMW’s future

Through a massive worldwide campaign that visits various major cities around the world, we get our exclusive opportunity to get up close and personal with BMW’s latest Vision iNEXT Concept to learn about automaker’s future plans.

Startup inks ‘world’s largest deal’ for driverless grocery deliveries

An increasing number of companies are testing delivery services using autonomous vehicles. Startup Udelv already has experience of running a trial in San Francisco, with Oklahoma City, Oklahoma set to become its next destination.
Product Review

Alfa Romeo delivers the quintessential Italian high-performance SUV

Alfa’s Romeo’s Ferrari-powered sport utility delivers hair-raising straight-line performance, admirable capability in the corners, and head-turning style, but comes up a bit short in a few key areas.
Smart Home

Amazon reportedly will introduce an Alexa-enabled microwave, amp, and more

Amazon's Fall 2018 Alexa device rollout is about to begin, sources say. Look for an Alexa microwave, an amplifier, receiver, and subwoofer, and an Alexa voice-responsive device for your car. Amazon is maximizing its voice-command presence.

Elon Musk: Tesla is bringing most collision repair in-house, outsiders too slow

Dissatisfied with third-party collision repair shops, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to announce the firm is bring most repair work in-house. The goal is a car as good or better than new with repair completed in under an hour.

Audi is finally taking the wraps off its Tesla-fighting e-tron electric SUV

The 2019 Audi e-tron is an electric SUV aimed at the Tesla Model X, Jaguar I-Pace, and Mercedes-Benz EQC. It's Audi's first mass-market electric car, but will it make a good first impression?

Volkswagen built a 210-mph Jetta, and broke a land-speed record with it

A modified 2019 Volkswagen Jetta just set a land-speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in the G/BGC class. Boasting a 600-horsepower engine, the Jetta hit 210 mph on the salt.
Emerging Tech

Smart sound system will give every car passenger their own wireless audio stream

Can't agree on what to listen to in the car? Imagine if each passenger could get their own way, courtesy of a personal audio stream — no headphones required. Sounds impossible, but it's almost here.