November 30, 2017

QUALITY CONTROL: Tesla Employees Say 90% Of Model S/X Cars Fail Quality Checks After Assembly.

Last month we highlighted a report from Automotive News which suggested that Tesla’s Model 3 production misses might have been the result of a rather basic and embarrassing problem…the company hadn’t yet figured out how to weld. As automotive manufacturing consultant Michael Tracy of Agile Group pointed out, the clues of Tesla’s steel problems came from a video posted by Musk himself of the Model 3 assembly line. Referencing Musk’s video, Tracy said a well functioning auto assembly line would not produce the sparks seen in the video below which are symptomatic of welds spots overheating or poor alignment of components.

And while it’s difficult to believe that Tesla hasn’t been able to iron out simplistic assembly line issues like the proper alignment of welds, a new report from several current and former employees would seem to lend some credence to Tracy’s hypothesis. As Reuters notes today, interviews with nine “current and former employees” revealed that 90% of all Model S and Model X vehicles that roll off the assembly line fail quality control checks…which compares to roughly 10% for Toyota.

A boutique manufacturer of expensive automobiles can afford, at least for a while, to hand-finish its products before turning them over to its customers. But if Tesla has any hopes of scaling up to Toyota-level production, it will have to scale up to Toyota-level quality control.

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