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‘Production is hell’: Elon Musk says criticism of Tesla’s quality is ‘accurate’

Tesla has been branded as producing bad quality vehicles, but in a recent interview CEO Elon Musk says the criticism is ‘accurate.’

Speaking with manufacturing expert Sandy Munro, Musk came clean about his company’s mistakes and reveals why problems, such as bad paint jobs and the Model 3 design, are common  and notes ‘production is hell.’

‘It took [Tesla] a while to…iron out the production process,’ the billionaire said.

He continued to explain Tesla struggled to get details correct while production was in ‘vertical climb mode.’

The Model 3 design is known to look like a ‘Frankenstein situation’ with different materials put together like a puzzle, which is due to using different materials that do not always fit together collectively, as reported on by Jalopnik.

 

Speaking with manufacturing expert Sandy Munro (right), Elon Musk came clean about his company’s mistakes and reveals why problems, such as bad paint jobs and the Model 3 design, are common and notes ‘production is hell’

Tesla has been hit with a number of recalls by the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).

In November 2020, the firm recalled 9,500 vehicles due to roof trim that may separate and bolts that may have not been properly tightened.

The last comes just this month with Tesla recalling 135,000 Model S and Model Y vehicles at the request of the NHTSA that found such models may experience touchscreen failures that disrupt other functions.

However, there seems to be a common issue found with Tesla vehicles – the paint job.

'It took [Tesla] a while to...iron out the production process,' the billionaire said. He continued to explain Tesla struggled to get details correct while production was in 'vertical climb mode'

‘It took [Tesla] a while to…iron out the production process,’ the billionaire said. He continued to explain Tesla struggled to get details correct while production was in ‘vertical climb mode’

Musk explained that when Tesla was ramping up production, the paint ‘was not necessarily drying enough’ due to his team rushing cars through the process.

‘Production is hell,’ said Musk.

‘The unique thing about Tesla is achieving volume production. Of any American startup car company, I think Tesla is the first to achieve volume production in 100 years.’

Munro is a long-time Tesla owner and although the vehicles have had its faults, he did praise Musk about the seats the firm makes in-house.

Musk explained that when Tesla was ramping up production, the paint 'was not necessarily drying enough' due to his team rushing cars through the process

Musk explained that when Tesla was ramping up production, the paint ‘was not necessarily drying enough’ due to his team rushing cars through the process

The custom seats are designed to minimize ‘pressure peaks,’ which cut off circulation and can hurt certain areas of the body while sitting.

Musk reveals Tesla’s initial seats in the Model S, which he calls the ‘Stone Toad Stool, were not designed for comfort and it would take time for your body to break them in.

‘So we went from the Stone Toad Stool to a lap of luxury, something that just feels great,’ he said.

However, the discussion was not filled with praise, as Munro sparked the discussion of the Model 3 weakness design.

Musk explains that Tesla has the ‘best material science team in the world,’ which are tasked with choosing the best materials to build vehicles.

However, the problem is they all propose different materials, which results in about 50 different suggestions.

And although Musk says they are in fact the best individually, ‘they are not true collectively.’

‘When you try to join all these dissimilar alloys…you’ve got gaps that you’ve got to seal, and you’ve got to join these things, and some of them need to be joined with rivets, some of them need to be joined with spot welds, some of them need to be joined with resin or resin and spot welds,’ he continued.

Munro sparked the discussion of the Model 3 weakness design. Musk explains that Tesla has the 'best material science team in the world,' which are tasked with choosing the best materials to build vehicles

Munro sparked the discussion of the Model 3 weakness design. Musk explains that Tesla has the ‘best material science team in the world,’ which are tasked with choosing the best materials to build vehicles

The Model 3 design is known to look like a 'Frankenstein situation' with different materials put together like a puzzle, which is due to using different materials that do not always fit together collectively

The Model 3 design is known to look like a ‘Frankenstein situation’ with different materials put together like a puzzle, which is due to using different materials that do not always fit together collectively

Musk explained that placing all of the materials together looks a bit like a ‘Frankenstein situation,’ but the real nightmare is sealing the gaps in between pieces. 

‘That might be the most painful job in the factory, is spackling on the sealant,’ he describes, noting that even the tiniest error of patching pieces can cause leaks and other problems.

Munro asks why newer Model 3s still make use of such a multi-piece rear body design instead of a single casting like on the Model Y.

‘It’s hard to change the wheels on the bus when it’s going 80 mph down the highway,’ Musk responded, saying the Model 3 represents such a large portion of the automaker’s volume that the company ‘[needs] an opportunity to redo the factory without blowing up the cashflow.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk