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Tesla workers say they had to cut corners to meet the production targets



More than half a dozen current and former Tesla employees claim that aggressive production targets have forced workers to take shortcuts when producing their cars in a new report from CNBC . They also accuse Tesla of creating difficult working conditions, especially for employees working in the "GA4" production tent, where assembly is not fully automated.

Employees claim that electrical tape was used to patch cracks on plastic brackets containing electrical components, and that cars would sometimes pass through the production line while missing bolts, nuts or lugs. The employees gave themselves CNBC with photographic evidence to support their claims. They also claim that Tesla encouraged their employees to work in tough conditions that were very hot and dry during the day and cold and wet at night.

The charges have appeared just a few weeks after Tesla set a new record for the production and delivery of its cars. In the second quarter of 201

9, the company produced 87,048 cars and delivered around 95,200, and beat analysts' expectations. However, CNBC's report suggests that Tesla must cut corners to reach these production levels and damage the car's built-in quality in the process.

The accusations represent Tesla's infamous GA4 production tent. The Provisional Assembly Line was first constructed as a temporary measure to hit Musk's ambitious goal of producing 6,000 Model 3-s a week by the end of June last year. But over a year later, the temporary production tent is still in use. Tesla has already been fined nearly $ 30,000 for the security hazards associated with the tent. The tent is reportedly responsible for about 20 percent of all model 3 production.

Current and former Tesla employees claim that pressure to keep production moving inside the tent means that hotfixes are used when components are damaged. The cold weather can sometimes destroy plastic components, and when this happens, they claim that electrical tape purchased at Walmart is used to secure components, and gave pictures of where it had been used. In response to the images, Tesla told CNBC that many parts come with tape pre-applied from manufacturers, and that the use of electrical tape is not an approved procedure.

Employees also claim that the cars could sometimes move down the production line with bolts, nuts or lugs missing, because there was not enough time to fully install all the components. "They would rather keep cars moving than stopping the line and being seen as a bottleneck for production," reports CNBC . A photograph that was reported showed that a nut was missing from a power supply block that could heat up and cause problems if not properly secured.

Temperature is also cited in CNBC's report as a problem in the production tent, which is off the Nevada-based Gigafactory. Fans, who will keep the tent cool, are rarely used and often ineffective, leading to the occurrence of heat rash and heat exhaustion. The tent is also cold at night, so employees must carry several layers. Some have even tried to warm themselves with the help of heat lamps intended for production.


Tesla's Nevada-based Gigafactory.
Photo by Becca Farsace / The Verge

CNBC spoke to two former employees at the post for his report and confirmed his account with six other current and former employees who requested to remain anonymous. The two named individuals, Carlos Aranda and Maggie Aranda, both stopped working at Tesla in June this year. Maggie Aranda has previously criticized Tesla for commenting on The Guardian to shoot her when she used her cell phone at work to contact her husband, who was on medical leave at that time.

In a statement borne by CNBC Tesla called the anecdotes "deceptive" and said they were unrepresentative of how it works at Tesla. "Dedicated inspection teams track each car at every store in the assembly line, and each vehicle is then subjected to an additional quality control process towards the end of the line … This applies to all areas of the factory, including our GA4 business." [19659015] "We are working hard to create a working environment that is as safe, fair and fun as possible, and it is incredibly important for us that employees look forward to coming to work every day. In fact, we have a large number of employees who asking to work on GA4 based on what they hear from colleagues and what they've seen firsthand. "


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