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300 spot welds removed from Model 3 design to meet production target


Apr 26, 2018
Florence, Italy
Senior director responsible for quality issues left last week. The reason might be this:

"In an effort to drastically ramp up production, Tesla employees are now tinkering with the core designs of the Model 3 car and the production process, detailed by a New York Times report (paywall), something that experts say is unprecedented. Executives at Tesla decided that the car didn’t need so many spot welds holding the underbody together, so engineers found 300 “unnecessary” welds and reprogrammed the welding robots cut them from the production process."

How Tesla is doing everything to get Model 3 cars out the door

Basically this means that all those crash tests are not valid any more since the behavior of the body changes if you remove 300 welding spots. Unbelievable that they are risking peoples safety to meet production target set by themselves.


Supporting Member
Dec 28, 2007
For what it is worth, Sandy Munro's commented on the AutoLine Detroit show (available on you tube) after Munro & associates tear down of a Model 3 that the body in white had way more welds and adhesive than best in class car bodies, citing Honda as an example.

He suggest that Tesla could hire them, or other experts, to vastly simplify their BIW design.



Jun 10, 2016
NE Ohio
Unbelievable that they are risking peoples safety to meet production target set by themselves.
You're statement is only true if the welds really are necessary. If, on the other hand, the engineers at Tesla really did determine that they aren't needed and don't impact safety then you're just assuming the worst for no reason.


Active Member
Oct 22, 2013
McKinney, TX
Anytime you changed anything to the original design, be it spot welds or else, you are actually jeopardized its integrity.

Your argument would only be true if the original design was 100% perfect, impossible to be improved upon, and also happened to be such a design that benign changes that neither improve or reduce safety are impossible to make.


Enough of the 🐩, back to 🐈‍⬛
Jul 13, 2012
Tesla friendly place
Basically this means that all those crash tests are not valid any more since the behavior of the body changes if you remove 300 welding spots. Unbelievable that they are risking peoples safety to meet production target set by themselves.

Fearmongering much?

David L

Jun 26, 2016
San Diego, CA
In engineering, making optimizations take a lot of time. When there isn't enough time, then the quick and easy way out is to be cautious and conservative. That's most likely what the Tesla engineers did when they had to start delivering vehicles last July. I'm guessing now that they've had an entire year to run additional simulations and possibly test manufactured designs, they've confirmed that certain welds are unnecessary and do nothing for the structure. Such engineering optimizations happen all the time in all types of products.


Model 3 Performance
May 17, 2018
I for one am happy if Tesla began production quickly by making a car way more safe than necessary (excessive spot welds) and then later found out that an excellent safety rating can still be achieved with less (300 fewer spot welds).

Contrast this to prior manufacturers who cut safety corners to achieve desired production, and then later found out that safety improvements were needed (recalls).


Active Member
Sep 27, 2016
Bainbridge Island, WA
One Source: Go back [youtube] and listen to Marc Tarpenning talk(s) about founding of Tesla and then designing/building of the Roadster.
Cars only go thru crashing testing once with hundreds (or was it thousands??) of sensors. And then all computer simulations as they try different materials or shapes/structures. ALL modern cars are done this way and all these crash tests/simulations are done by subcontractors - companies that specialise in this form of engineering. No one could afford to develop a car IF every change/new vendor/new materials had to be physically crashed again and again.

If you haven't heard Marc's talk, it is well worth the time to search and listen - you could search the Forums as I have posted more than once and I'm sure many others have as well. So DavidL is just wrong about how cars are done. Computer Simulations and these computer models improve year by year as new materials are introduced - new alloys of both steel and aluminium and carbon fiber formulations.

Computers are/can be truly amazing - not just for cat videos and social media but to design rockets and cars too.



Model ☰ AWD LR, Red, Aero, FSD | Truck Reserved
Apr 2, 2016
Pasco, WA
Even if we knew for sure that they removed 300 spot welds from the building of the vehicle...there's nothing in the article that says when this happened. They talk around it to make the reader believe that it's happened in the past few weeks.

For all we know they did all of that prior to the first deliveries last July or the before the next batch after that.

This article is a whole lot of nothing with out sources or concrete evidence.

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
Canyon Lake,CA
Tesla has a well know policy of continous improvements for their vehicles.

If a better way to produce the cars, or if improvements can be made, they are implemented as soon as possible. They do not wait for the next model year to introduce improvements.

Tesls makes some of the safest vehicles on todays roads. More welds that necessary is simply waste.

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