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Linette Lopez
Joined January 2009

2:37 PM Nov 8, 2022

How do I know so much about how @elonmusk does things? I spent 3 years investigating Tesla at @BusinessInsider from 2018-2021. Here are some of sloppy, dangerous, callous, things I learned:

1. Tesla put batteries with potentially defective cooling systems in people's cars. And they knew about it.

2. That time Elon told his engineers to stop doing brake tests on Model 3s. The tests were finding too many defects, and he wanted speed up the manufacturing process. Is that "hardcore engineering?"

3. Tesla has been much faster to do recalls in China than in the US. One of the China recalls sounds like it could be about this defect I reported on, known within the company for years.

4. This story put me on Tesla's sh*tlist. It shows a factory in chaos, and explains why Musk was desperately behind schedule while building the Model 3. And if you're looking at it from an accounting lens, it's extremely suspect too.

Musk would later admit Tesla was on the verge of bankruptcy during this period.

5. More on the accounting implications of millions of dollars of waste (that doesn't seem to appear anywhere on Tesla's balance sheet). Yes, I'm a nerd.

6. And yes, there was that time @elonmusk was a total creep to me on this app, which only convinced me I was asking good questions.

Linette Lopez @lopezlinette
Jul 5, 2018

I'd just like to point out that right now, right this very moment, @elonmusk is going through my Facebook history and screen grabbing things to share with his friends on the internet... if you're investing in Tesla or in a Tesla you need to sit with that. $TSLA

Elon Musk @elonmusk
Jul 5, 2018
Replying to @lopezlinette

They were sent to me by multiple people on the Internet. I don't use Facebook.

7. Musk has always been reckless. His cheerleaders Morgan Stanley almost stabbed him in the back in 2019 when Tesla looked like it might go bankrupt.

I can't imagine how those bankers feel now that he's completely screwed them with this Twitter deal. If he had closed earlier, it would be much easier to unload the debt.

8. And don't even get me started on what Tesla's relationship with the Chinese government may bring. They own the land his Shanghai factory sits on, and can take it back whenever they think Elon's out of line.

China's government has shown @elonmusk that it can cripple Tesla sales if it feels like it. It did it back in 2021.

9. I wouldn't be surprised if Tesla acquires Twitter. Why? Because that's how @elonmusk bailed himself (and his family) out when Solarcity was going bust. He made up some synergies for Tesla, lied about some new Solarcity product — merger managed.

Solarcity has been a declining share of Tesla's business basically since it was acquired. And it's been a MESS. The company had to initiate a stealth, nationwide plan to switch out defective parts that could lead to fires.

I've talked to dozens of SolarCity employees and customers. This is what I mean when I say I've seen @elonmusk do "sloppy" and "callous" business.

10. Oh, and Tesla was horrible to workers during the pandemic.

11. And if you're wondering how long @ElonMusk has been surrounded exclusively by sycophants, Tesla's last respectable General Counsel quit after just 2 months, in 2019.

I'm sure the Twitter people knew what kind of chaos to expect. Musk is proud of how life-sucking and cultish working for him can be.

12. Anyway, I'll leave you with one of the first pieces I ever wrote about @elonmusk, before I started any investigating, It was clear to me then what I think more people understand about him now.

[RM: See also: Internet Archive]

[RM: Slate covered Musk having a tantrum about the above thread, and making wild accusations with apparently zero foundation in fact.]

1: @lopezlinette was summarily banned from Twitter (1, 2, 3, 4) on Dec. 16, 2021, immediately following Ms. Lopez tweeting a recounting of the many times Elon Musk has sought out other people's physical locations, i.e., about his raging hypocrisy in objecting to the now-banned @ElonJet bot account reporting on the flight plans of his business jet, and objecting to reporters commenting on the banning of the latter account on Dec. 15, 2022.

This page will be updated to note Ms. Lopez's Mastodon presence when that becomes clearer.