After Tesla’s Model S sedans and Model X SUVs roll off the company’s Fremont, California assembly line, the electric vehicles usually make another stop – for repairs, nine current and former employees have told Reuters.The luxury cars regularly require fixes before they can leave the factory, according to the workers. Quality checks have routinely revealed defects in more than 90 percent of Model S and Model X vehicles inspected after assembly, these individuals said, citing figures from Tesla’s internal tracking system as recently as October. Some of these people told Reuters of seeing problems as far back as 2012.
Tesla Inc said its quality control process is unusually rigorous, designed to flag and correct the tiniest imperfections. It declined to provide post-assembly defect rates to Reuters or comment on those cited by employees.
The world’s most efficient automakers, such as Toyota, average post-manufacturing fixes on fewer than 10 percent of their cars, according to industry experts. Getting quality right during initial assembly is crucial, they said, because repairs waste time and money.
At Tesla “so much goes into rework after the car is done … that’s where their money is being spent,” a former Tesla supervisor said.