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Reuters: 90% Tesla defects

Without context, the story is meaningless. On Jalopnik, people were talking about this and someone mentioned Toyota claims only 10% of their cars require repair post production but even that doesn't tell the story. Unless you know the number and types of tests each manufacture performs, you can't draw a conclusion. Maybe Tesla is being ultra picky with their QA since its given them a black eye in the past and they are failing vehicles for things that other manufacturers would let slide because someone buying a beige Camery probably isn't as picky as someone dropping $100k on a Tesla.
 
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Back in June 2016 Tesla communicated their % of cars not requiring rework after manufacturing was greater than 90%, combined for S and X, with S being better. So unless things have reversed, I see this story as very unlikely to be correct. Or they are talking about something else, or have changed their levels of tolerance about what requires rework. Seems strange they would go from 90% not requiring rework to only 10%. They haven't really changed their production rate since then, so I'd expect the number to improve instead of get so much worse.

So what you're saying is that Tesla has achieved the level of Toyota's quality at 90% (an industry best) to 10% defective cars coming out of the assembly line?
 

trils0n

2013 P85
Feb 12, 2013
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So what you're saying is that Tesla has achieved the level of Toyota's quality at 90% (an industry best) to 10% defective cars coming out of the assembly line?

As far as I know, Toyota would be embarrassed by having to rework as many as 10% of cars. They are closer to 95-98% not requiring rework last I heard. 90% isn't particularly good. Tesla's Fremont plant, before it was NUMMI and was operated by GM, was the worst factory for rework in the US. About 1/3 of the cars coming off the production line required rework. That is to say 66-67% of cars required no rework. No way Tesla is multiples worse than that. The claims of only 10% requiring no rework is just insane. Cars aren't coming out of Fremont with beer cans left inside their doors like it was at GMs Fremont.
 
As far as I know, Toyota would be embarrassed by having to rework as many as 10% of cars. They are closer to 95-98% not requiring rework last I heard. 90% isn't particularly good. Tesla's Fremont plant, before it was NUMMI and was operated by GM, was the worst factory for rework in the US. About 1/3 of the cars coming off the production line required rework. That is to say 66-67% of cars required no rework. No way Tesla is multiples worse than that. The claims of only 10% requiring no rework is just insane. Cars aren't coming out of Fremont with beer cans left inside their doors like it was at GMs Fremont.

I challenge you to walk down a Toyota Lexus Dealership and look for unaligned trims and body panels. You will have to look hours at the dealership while you can spot an unaligned trim from Tesla 10-30 feet away.

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. -Autoblog
 

trils0n

2013 P85
Feb 12, 2013
1,529
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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.

Fewer than 10%. 2-5% is fewer than 10%. A 10% rework rate when you are making millions of cars per year (like Toyota) is 100,000 cars for every million requiring rework. That is simply untenable for a major auto maker. They couldn't operate with that level of rework. And Tesla couldn't operate with a 90% rework rate. It doesn't make sense.
 
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I’m sure Tesla still has much to learn about improving their processes but where the rubber meets the road their measurable defect metrics from the likes of Consumer Reports have been improving relatively rapidly
While your statement re: CR might be true of the Model S (which did improve to better then average recently in CR), it's not true of the Model X.

10 Least Reliable Cars has the Model X as dead last. There are no vehicles for which CR has sufficient reliability data for that are less reliable.

The year before, Model X was mid-pack in the 10 least reliable: https://web.archive.org/web/2016111...s.org/car-reliability/10-least-reliable-cars/.
 
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mmd

Active Member
Jun 22, 2015
1,338
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San Jose, CA
A good revealing article on Elon's hyperboles on manufacturing prowess. It predicted Model 3 delays long before it became apparent and Elon started walking back on them. (Beware: Not an electrek puff piece.)
Elon Musk Has Delivery Issues
In the auto industry, Musk’s production assertions are viewed as the manufacturing equivalent of vaporware—an advance that is promised but has very little chance of becoming a reality.

Buried there, a story on how a battery engineer was demoted, then forced to quit because she pointed out issues in the production line. This is long before UAW's organizing days.
As the Wall Street Journal reported, a design engineer for Tesla named Cristina Balan noticed in 2014 that Model S cars on the assembly line had an observable gap between the headliner (the material on the interior of the car’s roof) and the trim on the adjacent support pillar. Worried that other, more critical parts didn’t fit or meet tolerances, and upset that people were paying more than a hundred thousand dollars for shoddy workmanship, Balan told her managers and Musk about the problem.
Over the next few months, Balan says she was demoted, harassed, and ultimately forced to quit—even though she had been so integral to the development of Tesla’s power system that her initials were engraved on each battery.

Some more insights into the defect repair process as the line is moving.
Charge Time: Electric Car Workers Accuse Tesla of Low Pay and Intimidation
Galescu works the night shift repairing defects, mostly while the cars are still in motion. He and his five-man team jump in and out of cars, pulling out dents and dings. Management recently cut the repair work time per car from 180 seconds to 90. If workers can’t complete the task, it causes slowdowns on the line. Sometimes every car has the same defect, created by small pieces of dirt in the auto body stamping machine. “I have a friend in stamping who said if they’d just allow them a few more minutes to make sure they’re clean before they run, the defects would be way lower,” said Richard Ortiz.

Here is the picture of my colleague's misaligned chrome on Model S last year. I snapped the pic at our company's charging area. He had to return the car using happiness guarantee, because service centers were so swamped with other repairs that he couldn't even get a service appointment. He had other fit & finish issue besides this one. This is Model S, built in August 2016. No point talking about Model X.
IMG_20161024_114143.jpg


Did UAW also plant these garage full of new cars with repair lists glued to them?
Why Are Dozens Of Tesla Model 3, S, And X Sitting In An LA Parking Lot?

Someone wrote up thread that every car company has bad days and defects. But the pundits on Wall St keep telling us that Tesla is not a car company; it's a tech company. All it needs is an OTA update and a few lines of code to fix these.

PS: I hope the no-see-ums don't come buzzing from the general investment thread. I assumed this thread IS for meaningful discussion.
 
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TaoJones

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Nov 10, 2014
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One of the many problems with short-driven pablum like today’s article is that they’re not sufficiently timebound.

My first S had multiple very noticeable panel gaps. Well, that’s what good body shops and due bills are for. Pick your poison in the early days of manufacturing.

My second S has exactly one noticeable misalignment. Both were end of quarter cars. That’s a *considerable* improvement. Of course, considerable improvements aren’t useful for short-sellers and their tired narratives.

What these miserable shorts tend to fail to realize is that they’re just creating (occasional, when typically combined with other drivers) nice juicy entry points for those of us who prefer to *accumulate* TSLA. So, um, thanks I guess. Could do without the drama, though.

Separately, unions, *in the US* with limited exception, have long outlived their usefulness. The UAW in particular is a disgrace on top of being ungrateful. After all, who bought their Bay Area Union Hall for top dollar? Exactly.

And let’s not even get into how they destroyed the GM factory (where Tesla is today) back in the day - twice, actually - once back in the 60s/70s, and then at the end as well.
 
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Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
12,143
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...June 2016 Tesla communicated their % of cars not requiring rework after manufacturing was greater than 90%...

I am a Tesla cult member so even though when I spotted imperfections on my 2012 and 2017 deliveries, I have not complained till this day.

But I have been able to tell it's a problem.

It's a problem that I can tolerate even when my friends kept pointing out the poor fit and finish in my 2012 Model S.

The fit and finish for my 2017 Model X is better but my friends still can spot the imperfections at a glance.

I don't bother with those comments because I came from ownership of cheap cars such as Ford Escort.

As for 90% defect free claim, I did spot the problem with my 2017 Model X 17" display discoloration immediately at the delivery as reported by others in the thread:

screen discoloration

But as a good cultist, I did not complain nor have I demanded any corrections for myself after all these years but that does not mean Tesla does not have a problem.

Those defective parts should have never been made it to us owners in the first place, but they did!

I am a Tesla cult member but I do want Tesla to be transparent and I wish that it does not practice cover-ups.
 
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Just hit 30k miles...never had a problem...perfect from day one!

And just from a journalistic point of view "9 anonymous former and present employees" a credible story does not make.

Battery replaced within first week of ownership.
Front wiring harness, A/C, and MCU replaced within first 5 months of ownership.

Is your story more (or less) credible than mine?

Conclusions reached by data inferred from anecdote are fallacious, regardless of the conclusion drawn.
 

Canuck

Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2013
6,125
5,781
South Surrey, BC
Battery replaced within first week of ownership.
Front wiring harness, A/C, and MCU replaced within first 5 months of ownership.
Is your story more (or less) credible than mine?
Conclusions reached by data inferred from anecdote are fallacious, regardless of the conclusion drawn.

Point taken until the last line. I don't agree that a person's first hand experience is, in this case, an "anecdote" in the first place. However, assuming it is, if I conclude, based on no problems with my vehicle over a number of months and miles (hence it is no longer anecdotal evidence), that I want to buy another, that does not make my conclusion fallacious at all. In fact, it's quite a prudent conclusion. However, if I try to say that will be your experience as well, then yes, it is fallacious. In order for me to say that I need data that only comes from polling a sufficient amount of owners to have a low margin of error, or directly by way of service records.
 

Tiger

Active Member
Oct 31, 2016
2,121
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It's simple, quality is not incentivized at Tesla, but speed is. You get what you measure.

I especially like ths quote:

“We’ve been building a Model S since 2012. How do we still have water leaks?”

This is stimply poor quality management: Employees who worked on Model S and Model X described pressure to keep the assembly line moving, even when problems emerged. Some told of batches of cars being sent through with parts missing - windshields in one case, bumpers in another - because there were none on hand. The understanding, they said, was that these and other flaws would be fixed later.
 
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Tiger

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Oct 31, 2016
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As long as the car doesn’t reach the customer with the defect it matters little how it was resolved provided the company improves their processes as they discover the issues.

The more the resources are wasted at fixing issues after the matter, the more customer's money is being wasted. It's more energy and more money and grey hair being spent when faults that could have been fixed on the assembly line are being fixed down the line or even after delivery. Costs money and goodwill.
 
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Tiger

Active Member
Oct 31, 2016
2,121
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Admitting it won't help TSLA either

Admitting it is only the first step of the 12.
  1. We, Tesla, admit we were powerless over quantity over quality paradigm—that our business model had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe and to accept that we needed strengths and due diligence beyond our awareness and resources to restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to entrust our will and our lives to the care of the collective wisdom and resources of those QA and customer service experts who have searched before us.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to ourselves without reservation, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were ready to accept help in letting go of all our defects of character.
  7. With humility and openness sought to eliminate our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through meditation to improve our spiritual awareness and our understanding of the AA way of life and to discover the power to carry out that way of life.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other businesses (like Toyota once did before), and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Taking the first step is only the beginning, but without admittance true healing cannot occur.
 
Battery replaced within first week of ownership.
Front wiring harness, A/C, and MCU replaced within first 5 months of ownership.

Is your story more (or less) credible than mine?

Conclusions reached by data inferred from anecdote are fallacious, regardless of the conclusion drawn.

Well, I'm not a journalist and looking at the traction this story received based on what 9 supposed employees stated(some supposedly fired) it's certainly questionable.

Then add my personal experience of owning a Tesla that hasn't had any problems nor have any of my friends who own Teslas had any problems etc. this just sounds like another hit piece against Tesla. No surprise really.
 
My car was delivered with a rather large gap around the hood's front edge. I mentioned it at multiple service visits (to Rangers and two service centers) and everyone basically shrugged it off.

I've stopped complaining when it finally occurred to me that *if* they fixed the gap, it would probably increase the pressure on the metal and I'd end up with the dreaded hood crease instead. Oh, and the paint match on the bumper isn't great either.

But here's the real point-- that I love the car and what the company is doing, but they're clearly just NOT being truthful with statements like: "...we care about even a fraction of a millimeter body gap difference or a slight paint gloss texture..."

I mean, clearly not. And you're embarrassing yourself and those of us who stick up for you during the EV transition when making statements that are plainly false.

C6A0hoJWgAEVJaT.jpg:large


Yes. That's CLOSED and LATCHED.


C6o24qPWgAAT-Q8.jpg:large
 
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