Tesla chief executive Elon Musk appeared to joke about whistleblowers on Twitter following high-profile lawsuits against the electric car maker brought by current and former staff.
The billionaire urged his 65 million Twitter followers to “Raise Tesla! And included a link to a branded “Cyberwhistle” for sale in the company’s online store.
Despite being priced at $ 50 (£ 38), the stainless steel whistle apparently sold out online within minutes, with many Musk followers on Twitter tweeting to say they purchased the item. , which is shaped like Tesla’s futuristic Cybertruck vehicle.
In a follow-up tweet, the 50-year-old, who also owns Space X, told his followers, “Don’t waste your money on that stupid Apple Cloth, buy our whistle instead! Referring to Apple recently unveiled a polishing cloth, which is on sale at the company’s UK online store for £ 19.
Tesla has faced several lawsuits in the United States in recent months from current and former employees, some of whom have complained of workplace harassment.
A California federal court ordered Tesla in October to pay nearly $ 137 million in damages to a former black employee who said he suffered racist abuse while working at the company’s main factory in Fremont.
Owen Diaz, a former contract elevator operator, complained of racial abuse while working at the factory between 2015 and 2016.
In November, a worker at Tesla’s main plant in California filed a complaint alleging widespread sexual harassment and a lack of support from supervisors when complaints were filed.
Jessica Barraza said she was regularly proposed by co-workers and had to endure inappropriate touching at the Fremont factory. She said the company’s human resources department did not respond to complaints she lodged with them in September and October.
Musk, whose personal worth is estimated at around $ 271 billion, has a habit of courting controversy through his tweets, his preferred medium. In recent months, he’s been promoting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, asking Twitter users about whether to sell some of his Tesla shares, and also poked fun at US Senator Bernie Sanders about of his comments on the taxation of the rich.
Some of his tweets got him and his business in trouble. The U.S. securities regulator warned Tesla last year that Musk twice violated an agreement requiring his tweets and important public communications to be pre-approved by the firm’s attorneys, as reported for the first time the Wall Street Journal.
The Cyberwhistle is made from “medical grade stainless steel,” according to Tesla’s website, and described as being “inspired by” the Cybertruck, a stainless steel electric van used in rockets.
The armored vehicle was revealed two years ago, in November 2019, and Musk tweeted days later that the company had received 150,000 orders.
Musk told Tesla investors that production of Cybertruck will begin in 2022. However, in recent days, he has complained about supply chain issues in response to a tweet requesting an update on Cybertruck’s delivery.