The bestselling EV by Tesla, the Model 3, gives employees nightmares. In the second quarter, the company produced 72,531 Model 3 electric sedans, but its employees had to take many shortcuts to ensure they don’t fall behind the schedule.
The open-air GA4 nightmare
An open-air “tent” facility of Tesla is the center of a new controversy where current and former employees are blaming the company for making them work relentlessly to meet Model 3 production goals. The employees were pressured into making quick fixes using electrical tapes and working through harsh conditions. They also suggest that the cars skipped previously required vehicle tests as well.
Note that these open-air facilities are known as GA4 (general assembly 4). The Fremont based GA4 was created in 2018 to use more manual labor in making Tesla cars while the factories went for more automation.
The employees worked through high heat during the day, cold temperatures at night and were even working when California’s wildfires were raging last year and made the air smoky. Four people who worked at the planet have shown pictures of cars where they applied electrical tape to patch the cracks on housings and plastic brackets.
Tesla has production problems
Tesla’s Fremont factory started production on a wobbly note, and CEO Elon Musk admitted that they automated too many “silly things.” However, for an open-air tent factory, things are getting worse. The company is struggling to maintain a balance between its production targets and its cost-cutting efforts.
All this is happening while the Fremont factory is reportedly going through an update to produce Model S and Model X. At the same time, Musk is suggesting that they will have a million robo-taxis by next year and eventually make a significant leap towards self-driving vehicles.
Amidst these circumstances and very ambition production goals, Tesla employees have to work under stressful conditions to keep the wheels moving. For the quarter ending June 30, the company made 87,048 cars of which 72,531 were Model 3s, setting two quarterly records. Shareholders were recently told that the company would make 360,000 full-year deliveries in 2019, of which 250,000 will be Model 3s.
A spokesperson for the EV manufacturer recently called employee claims about the open-air plant “misleading” and said that their accounts “do not reflect our manufacturing practices or what it’s like to work at Tesla.” The spokesperson noted that cars are rigorously inspected before shipping and using electrical tape is not an approved procedure.