Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly told workers to stop performing a critical brake test on Model 3 cars as the company rushed to meet a self-imposed milestone of 5,000 cars produced per week.
As electric-car manufacturer Tesla rushed to meet their self-imposed milestone of 5,000 Model 3 cars produced per week, CEO Elon Musk reportedly told workers to stop performing a critical brake test on cars. According to Business Insider, Musk told employees working on Model 3 cars in the company’s factory in Fremont, California, to stop performing a “brake and roll” test on the cars.
A Tesla insider stated that testing was shut down before 3:00 a.m. on June 26, but was not aware of how long the test was halted for or why it was halted in the first place. An industry insider told Business Insider that the brake and roll test is a critical part of vehicle testing which ensures that the car’s wheels are correctly aligned and that brakes are functioning properly.
Tesla representative Dave Arnold told Business Insider that every Tesla car goes through “rigorous quality checks” but when asked if Elon Musk had ordered the shutdown of brake tests himself, Arnold stated: “I don’t have anything further beyond the statement.”
Business Insider included a photo of Tesla’s internal production system, which can be seen below:
Business Insider notes:
The far-left column shows what step the car has reached in the manufacturing process and what tasks must be done there.
The two key columns here are the ones labeled “critical” and “blocking.” According to an employee at the company, they show it is apparently no longer necessary for the car to undergo this test before it leaves this step of the manufacturing process.
On the far right are all the descriptions of the tasks that should be performed at this station. However, since the criticality and blocking are off, the car can leave the station whether those tasks are performed or not, the employee said.
It’s not clear how many cars, if any, have left the station without doing this test.
A Tesla employee also disputed the company’s claim that they had produced 5,000 Model 3’s in one week, claiming that the company likely reached its goal by finishing cars that had been taken off the production line the week previously but were held back for rework, and then preparing those cars for factory gating and counting them towards the 5,000 Model 3’s produced that week.
Arnold disagreed with the employee’s claims saying: “A small number of cars are built during a week but factory-gated the following week, just as a small number of cars built the prior week may not be factory-gated until the following week. Both of those points are true for this last week of production, just as it is true every week. We are reporting our production numbers the same way as we always have.”