Tesla has filed a lawsuit accusing a disgruntled former employee of hacking into the electric car-maker’s systems and passing confidential information to third parties.
The information included photographs and video of the firm’s manufacturing systems, according to the lawsuit.
Tesla said it has suffered “significant and continuing damages” as a result of the misconduct.
The lawsuit follows an email to staff accusing an employee of sabotage.
In the lawsuit, filed in federal court in Nevada, Tesla alleges that the worker, a former process technician, was angry after getting reassigned to a new role.
It said the employee admitted to some of the activities after being confronted by the firm with evidence.
In addition to the theft allegations, the firm says the worker made false statements to the press about delays and other aspects of factory operations.
Tesla said: “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.”
The firm is seeking $1m (£757,000) in damages to be determined at trial, among other forms of relief.
Tesla is under pressure to boost its manufacturing and profitability.
Last week, chief executive Elon Musk said 9% of the firm’s workforce would be cut as part of a restructuring of the carmaker, which has not made an annual profit since it was created nearly 15 years ago.