According to current and former Tesla employees, flawed parts and incomplete cars are to blame for the Tesla Model 3 delays.
On Wednesday we reported that Tesla had ceased production of the Model 3 near the end of February to upgrade its manufacturing plant in Fremont, California. The downtime is said to improve the quality of components and cars manufactured at the facility.
Now, a new report from CNBC says the reason for the Model 3’s delays is all due to incredibly poor quality control at Tesla.
Current and former Tesla technicians and engineers are saying that a significant portion of components manufactured at Fremont are coming out flawed, requiring them to be repaired or reworked before they can be used in a finished product.
Cars are likewise not passing final inspection, requiring more remanufacturing and causing additional delays.
Some employees report that cars and parts are being shipped to Tesla’s remanufacturing facility in Lathrop, California because they are so poorly made they can’t be fixed in the assembly line. Moreover, technicians and staff are being sent from Lathrop to Fremont to assist with remanufacturing components on-site.
One engineer estimated that as much as 40 percent of parts made at Fremont are emerging flawed, requiring some degree of rework. As a result, employee morale at the facility is at an all-time low.
A spokesperson for Tesla said, "Our remanufacturing team does not 'rework' cars,” noting that rework and remanufacturing are perhaps being confused by their employees.
The Tesla spokesperson also noted that the company has made great strides at their Fremont facility since last year. "Whereas before it took three shifts with considerable overtime to produce our target annual production of 100,000 Model S and X vehicles, now it can be done with only two shifts and minimal overtime," they said.
Last July, Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated he expected production of the Model 3 to reach 20,000 cars by the end of 2017. He has since altered his estimate to be 2,500 cars by the end of March, and reach 5,000 cars by June.
Meanwhile, 400,000 customers await their Model 3, with some now having to wait until 2019 before they can expect delivery.