Industry News

Tesla Tells Us Manufacturing Delays Due To Its 'Pursuit of Perfection'

Which is why, it claims, Tesla has highest customer satisfaction levels in the entire global auto industry.

The Tesla Model 3 has been in the news again, this time about production having been temporarily suspended late last month in order to “improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks.” But a new CNBC report has come out claiming the EV automaker is manufacturing a high volume of flawed parts and vehicles that require costly repairs. This in turn leads to “more rework and repairs that can be contained at its factory in Fremont, California.”

More specifically, an unnamed though current Tesla engineer estimated 40 percent of the parts being made require some level of rework. It was this rework, according to the engineer, that contributed to Model 3 production delays. Even more damning, yet another employee from the Fremont factory claims the “company’s defect rate is so high that it’s hard to hit production targets.” Company morale is also suffering as a direct result of this. We reached out to Tesla itself instead of reading elsewhere what’s exactly going on, and a spokesperson had this to say: “CNBC’s recent story on quality at Tesla completely misses this critical point. In what world is the pursuit of perfection looked down on?

“Not one we want to live in. As an example, every Model S or Model X on the assembly line must pass through hundreds of inspection and test points. In order to ensure the highest quality, dedicated inspection teams track every car throughout every shop in the assembly line to document and address potential issues. Towards the end of the line, every vehicle is then subjected to an additional quality control process involving more than 500 other inspections and tests. The majority of issues identified at the end of line inspection are extremely minor, and are resolved in a matter of minutes. That said, we’re working to reduce this work and make the process as efficient as possible.

“We then feed these improvements back to production in a pursuit of perfection. Moreover, CNBC’s focus on remanufacturing has nothing to do with the quality of our cars. Remanufacturing is a process that literally every automaker on earth performs. CNBC is extracting a few lines from two job descriptions posted online and making gross assumptions about the roles that are inaccurate. Our remanufacturing team is very small, comprising only 0.1% (40 people) of our nearly 40,000 employees. In reality, like other automakers, Tesla re-manufactures parts because doing so uses fewer materials and less energy than building a new part from scratch.

“It is undeniably a good thing that is ultimately better for the environment and if well done is equally good for the customer.” Clearly Tesla doesn't appreciate things being taken out of context and presented as facts that indicate serious issues affecting vehicle build quality and safety. Tesla’s response to us regarding the CNBC report will be put to the test as more and more new vehicles roll off the assembly line and into owners’ driveways.

Related Cars

Starting MSRP
$35,000
Starting MSRP
$74,500
Starting MSRP
$79,500

Read Next

SEE MORE ARTICLES
Tesla Model S
Starting MSRP
$74,500
SEE PRICE AND SPECS