Tesla Whistleblower Says Still Waiting for Public Apology From Musk

The batteries in every Model S electric vehicle include the initials of Cristina Balan, an American engineer who was once a rising star at Tesla. However, she says management became hostile, and she was fired in 2014 when she voiced a safety concern about a design defect that may impact the vehicles’ brakes.

She prevailed in a wrongful termination lawsuit, but Tesla publicly accused her of embezzlement for allegedly diverting company funds to a “secret project.”

Despite her repeated denials and legal actions, Ms. Balan is still waiting for a thorough hearing of her case in a California public court, even though it has been years since she first filed suit. She hopes that her child does not grow up assuming his mom is a thief. Balan is in remission for stage 3B breast cancer, and she expresses great concern that she may not survive to see her last day in court.

Balan would welcome a public apology from Musk before she dies.

She reminisced bittersweetly about having a conversation with Elon Musk while waiting for lunch at the office cafeteria and said that she was thrilled to finally achieve her goal of being a successful automobile enthusiast, something that was her childhood dream in Romania.

But Balan revealed a minor but possibly fatal design problem: the carpets curled below certain pedals. Even though consumers had complained about it, Balan alleges that bosses were antagonistic and ignored her concerns.

She decided to email Mr. Musk, who had previously told his staff to confide in him if they were concerned about anything that would damage Tesla’s image.

Unfortunately, it was unsuccessful, and Ms. Balan was subsequently fired.

Meanwhile, Tesla’s website states that safety is of utmost concern.

After contacting Mr. Musk about worries about working conditions at Tesla’s Norway headquarters, another whistleblower, Lukasz Krupski, claimed to have had a similar but unconnected experience.

According to Balan, there may be additional Tesla employees who are “afraid to speak up.”

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal in California will finally consider her case.