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Reuters: 90% Tesla defects

trils0n

2013 P85
Feb 12, 2013
1,529
1,982
Earth
I am a Tesla cult member

But as a good cultist

I am a Tesla cult member

Whatever floats your boat. (Personally I think it works much better to let Tesla know about your problems so they can fix them or at least become aware that their customers find those problems unacceptable)

All I know is the only statements we have about Tesla's rework rate was that it finally exceeded 90% not requiring rework in June 2016. (Knowing Tesla this means it was 90.1%.) This was a major milestone as 90% is getting close to a real car company. But 90% isn't good. That means 1/10 cars require rework. It also means before June 2016, that the rate was worse. We kind of all know this because of the huge cluster that was the Model X launch and how lots of rework was pushed to service centers. Same thing happened with the Model S launch to some extent.

But this article that only 10% of Tesla's don't require rework seems pretty outrageous to me. Almost like the journalist lost something in translation and flipped the numbers (90% require no rework, 10% require rework -> 10% require no rework, 90% require rework).

I think the real question here is not if cars require rework by Tesla's standard, but what exactly is Tesla's standard for rework. If Tesla's standard is too low (and based on gut feeling, it is especially for window trim) then I could see workers thinking cars need rework when Tesla says they do not. And then you get articles like this one. Tesla claims they're correct (they are, according to their standard) and workers claim way more cars need rework (also correct if you apply a tighter standard).
 
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Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,299
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Canyon Lake,CA
I am surprised (but maybe not) that Reuters takes the word of disgruntled let go workers and prints their comments as Gospel.

A legitimate news source would take the claims to Tesla and ask to check it out for themselves before coming up with the splashy headline.

It might be that a defect is just a smudge or area needing additional polish or cleaning, or it could mean that someone forgot to install a motor! Gotta define what the level of reworking is and add that to the article.

Titles like this are usually more click bait than real news.

Kind of like reading...Breaking NEWS! Ford Motor Company found to be filling production car tires with contaminated factory air. Air contains Ozone and Benzine. What should be DONE!
 
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.

This is the critical part for me. I'm really looking forward to my reserved-on-the-first-day Model 3, and don't much care about panel gaps, which is what 90% of this thread is about (my current Renault Zoe doesn't have great gaps). But I really care about Tesla being financially sustainable and practices like the above are just not sustainable. If you keep the assembly line running when cars are not being built right then you pay more to fix the issues later. This has been known for 30 years. Read up on the Toyota system, read for example "The Machine that Changed the World" or listen to the podcast about the history of the Tesla factory. Everyone agrees the critical thing is to stop the assembly line when there are problems - not keep building and expect to fix it later.

The first step is to admit you have a problem. I hope Tesla are not as arrogant as they appear in that article because that will hinder their ability to learn from people with a lot more experience than them. I think Tesla have a huge advantage in that they get software and they have a ton of experience with electrical drivetrains. They also have the huge advantage that they are focussed on the future - classic Innovator's Dilemma stuff - and that's another book that people should read, and not just quote buzzwords from!

And I know there are a lot of people with an axe to grind against Tesla. The UAW, the Russians, Zero Hedge, Big oil etc. But that doesn't mean there aren't also real issues and it's pretty clear that there are. If Tesla could marry their software expertise and their vision of the future with top notch manufacturing management they would be unstoppable. Right now I don't think the factory is well managed, unfortunately.
 
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.

I recommend reviewing the definition and concept of anecdotal evidence, as well as what fallacious means.
 
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Canuck

Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2013
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I recommend reviewing the definition and concept of anecdotal evidence...

Okay, let's do that:

In certain situations, scientific evidence presented in court must also meet the legal requirements for evidence. For instance, in the United States, expert testimony of witnesses must meet the Daubert standard. This ruling holds that before evidence is presented to witnesses by experts, the methodology must be "generally accepted" among scientists. In some situations, anecdotal evidence may meet this threshold (such as certain case reports which corroborate or refute other evidence).

My experience with anecdotal evidence comes from over 25 years as a trial lawyer but I cited the law above from a reputable source since you obviously don't know anecdotal evidence can be admitted into evidence by this statement you made (which I am now instructed to look up definitions for -- to try to prove it right):

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

If it can be admitted into evidence it must have some probative value. But I better not go there since then I would have to explain to you what that means. Suffice it to say, it clearly is not "fallacious" in all conclusions drawn from it, if in some cases it can be admitted as evidence by the courts, right? No offence, but the probative value of evidence may be over your head if you needed me to look up...

...as well as what fallacious means.

But I'll play along...

fal·la·cious
fəˈlāSHəs/
adjective
  1. based on a mistaken belief.
    "fallacious arguments"
    synonyms: erroneous, false, untrue, wrong, incorrect, flawed, inaccurate, mistaken, misinformed, misguided;

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

So I looked them up and this is still wrong. Some conclusions drawn from it are not fallacious, including the example I gave above, and the fact that courts find it to be of probative value in certain cases if it meets the threshold.
 
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AmpedRealtor

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2013
6,453
4,225
Phoenix, AZ
The article is 100% truth, in my opinion. It's a well known fact that Tesla pushes problems downstream to owners and service in order to maintain high delivery numbers. Nowhere is this more evident than at quarter's end. Tesla is notorious for rushing deliveries at the end of quarter, Elon has admitted this himself. And you'll also see a spike of complaints after such deliveries. The sage advice here is to never schedule production for end of quarter, if avoidable.

This is not news to any of us who have been owners for the last few years. Tesla's factory QC is almost non-existent, as witnessed by this alarming thread from earlier this year:

Help, A-Pillar Defect Found | Tesla Motors Club

Tesla is still delivering cars with sub-par QC. Despite anything Elon says, quality is simply NOT a priority at Tesla. It's just not, so let's stop pretending that it is.
 
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Okay, let's do that:

...

So I looked them up and this is still wrong. Some conclusions drawn from it are not fallacious, including the example I gave above, and the fact that courts find it to be of probative value in certain cases if it meets the threshold.

I will give you an opportunity to adjust your tone to one of seeking knowledge. Persistence of hubris will not serve you well in our discussion. I also recommend reviewing the concept of equivocation as pertains to your second response, notably for "anecdotal evidence" and "fallacious."

I will expand on possible ambiguity in what I said with, "Conclusions reached by data inferred from anecdote are fallacious"...more specifically, "Conclusions reached by data inferred from anecdote are based on fallacious argumentation." If this led to confusion, I accept that as my mistake. Otherwise, if it is still not clear as to the reasoning flaws and incongruities of your responses, I am willing to further dissect them.
 
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Canuck

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Nov 30, 2013
6,125
5,781
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I will give you an opportunity to adjust your tone to one of seeking knowledge. Persistence of hubris will not serve you well in our discussion. I also recommend reviewing the concept of equivocation as pertains to your second response, notably for "anecdotal evidence" and "fallacious."

Your attempted explanation only makes you look silly, Confucius. There was no "equivocation" in my second response. My first example was perfectly fine to prove my point, and was on the topic of this thread, but when you failed to accept it I gave you an example that you could not possibly refute. That's not "equivocation" at all --- that's the final "nail in the coffin" of your argument. But nice try in being wrong and using words to try to confuse the issue. I doubt anyone reading it fell for it, if they could even understand what your wrote, especially with your tone of being the old wise man on the hill imparting knowledge to all of us naive little folks.

If this led to confusion, I accept that as my mistake. Otherwise...

It takes a big man to properly admit when they are wrong, without caveats. Enough said.
 
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I will give you an opportunity to adjust your tone to one of seeking knowledge.
I think it you who should adjust your tone. I have observed you regularly making arrogant and argumentative posts on these forums. Rather than providing any useful information for others to benefit from, you critcize others' posts. You seem to want to provoke others into argument

The world can be a wonderful place when we strive to be helpful and supportive to others.
 

Canuck

Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2013
6,125
5,781
South Surrey, BC
I think it you who should adjust your tone. I have observed you regularly making arrogant and argumentative posts on these forums. Rather than providing any useful information for others to benefit from, you critcize others' posts. You seem to want to provoke others into argument

The world can be a wonderful place when we strive to be helpful and supportive to others.

Yeah but sometimes arguing is fun too... ;)
 

Canuck

Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2013
6,125
5,781
South Surrey, BC
The article is 100% truth, in my opinion.

Few things in life are "100% truth", let alone what you read in the paper.

I sure miss that saying "what you read in the paper" since you knew it underwent some form of vetting. Now anything seems to qualify as "news" if you read it on the internet. Hence the need for a term "Fake News".

We need to now become our own editors, which requires a very critical eye, and the avoidance of categorical statements like the one above. In most cases, both sides have a story to tell, and the truth usually falls somewhere in the middle.
 
Excellent, we have requests for an educational dissection of the content at hand. This will provide an opportunity to improve the knowledge and critical thinking of all readers, including myself, as very few people inspect their thought processes at this level of detail. I welcome this exercise.

Let's begin with my initial assertion.

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

This statement refers to the logical error of using (typically a small number of) self-reported stories as data, from which conclusions are made.

In retrospect, I would rephrase this slightly:
Conclusions reached by data inferred from anecdotal evidence are based on fallacious argumentation.

There may have been some confusion about "anecdote" versus "anecdotal evidence" and "fallacious conclusion" versus "fallacious argumentation." I want to be clear about my language, and if my initial statement was unclear, that is my mistake.

Anecdotal evidence is an informal report of personal experience. These reports are typically (but not necessarily) much less rigorous in detail and structure than scientific data gathering, as they are typically not designed in advance. They can also be subject to the bias of the reporter, and are limited to the perspective of the reporter. The value of anecdotal evidence is in using it to develop questions to more rigorously answer, but it is only that...a starting point, not a finish line.

Fallacious argumentation is the process of putting together a set of ideas to reach a conclusion, but the process is invalid due to one or more failures in reasoning. A failure in the reasoning is a fallacy, and there are many kinds of fallacies (which are very common in almost every discussion/debate). We will examine two types of fallacies.

In my original post, another forum user had commented about having no vehicle problems. I contrasted this with my abnormally high number and magnitude of problems. Both of those reports are anecdotal evidence. Each of us is just one owner with one vehicle. To make a conclusion based on either of our reports is called a Hasty Generalization fallacy, which is common when people start from anecdotal evidence. Neither of our reports is sufficient to conclude quality of Tesla vehicles in general, as Tesla has sold hundreds of thousands of vehicles. 2 vehicles out of 200,000 is less than a percent of a percent, which isn't a meaningful statistic.

Also note that we are talking about evidence in a statistical/scientific context and putting together reasoned arguments (a philosophical context). Understanding the context of the terms and concepts used is important, and we'll get to why this is important later in this exposition.

Let's evaluate some of the content that attempts to refute the position that anecdotal evidence is invalid for drawing conclusions.

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)

We've established what anecdotal evidence means, which is necessarily first-hand experience. There may be some confusion in separating the idea of an "anecdote" (a short story) from "anecdotal evidence," but these sentences seem to equate them, given the use of both terms. Let's focus on the use of the term "anecdotal evidence" at the end here, since that is the common term.

The assertion is that some period of time (in months) and distance traveled creates a situation of extended usage that no longer makes the informal report "anecdotal." This might seem reasonable, but it is incorrect. The state of evidence being anecdotal is not limited by time. Anecdotal evidence is characterized by the way the information is gathered and reported. A single person reporting experiences over a week, month, or year is still a single person, with potential bias, reporting experiences about a single vehicle with whatever level of detail was collected at the time and retained to report. It is important to note that the focus of the anecdotal evidence here is the vehicle, not the person owning/using it nor the time frame in which they owned it. Ten years of reporting experiences about one vehicle is still one vehicle.


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.

This is interesting. The assertion here is that there are two different arguments and conclusions: one first-person ("my" next Tesla) and one second-person ("your" next Tesla).

Let's break down the first-person argument, which is supposedly valid:

1. I (singular Tesla owner) have experienced no (or minor) issues with my Tesla vehicle over the span of XX months and/or XXXXX miles (where these are non-trivial quantities, choose whatever values make this carry reasonable weight ).
2. Therefore, another Tesla vehicle I purchase will likely have a similar pattern of reliability.
3. I want to buy a vehicle with a similar pattern of reliability to my current vehicle.
4. Therefore, I want to buy another Tesla.

And the second-person argument, which is supposedly invalid (fallacious):
1. I (singular Tesla owner) have experienced no (or minor) issues with my Tesla vehicle over the span of XX months and/or XXXXX miles (where these are non-trivial quantities, choose whatever values make this carry reasonable weight ).
2. Therefore, another Tesla vehicle you purchase will likely have a similar pattern of reliability.

Carefully note the conclusion in #2 in both arguments: the owner of the "another" vehicle is irrelevant. This is crucial to understanding the fallacy, as it does not matter if it is first-person ("My vehicle is fine, so the next one I buy will be fine") or second-person ("My vehicle is fine, so the next one you buy will be fine."). The conclusion is based on the anecdotal evidence regarding a single vehicle, which is then necessarily applied to all future vehicles. "My" next Tesla vehicle and "your" next Tesla vehicle are both in the undifferentiated pool of all future Tesla vehicles. If it is valid to conclude that "my" vehicle out of all those will likely be "good," then it must be likely that all of them are "good," which would mean "your" vehicle is equally likely to be "good." However, #2 is a hasty generalization in both arguments, so both of them are fallacious.


Now, let's engage the concept of equivocation. Equivocation is a change in context that changes the meaning of words/terms as part of constructing an argument, which is a fallacy.


The assertion here is that anecdotal evidence is valid/acceptable as part of argumentation, based on the above reputable source.

Note the first line of this text. The equivocation is expressly stated. Scientific evidence and legal evidence do not have the same definition. Evidence has a different meaning when used in a legal context, so constructing an argument based the meaning of anecdotal evidence in a legal context is a fallacy of equivocation. We are in a statistical/scientific context, so we must consistently use the definition of evidence for this context.

When further considering how the context matters and changes the meanings of terms, consider what the concept of "proof" means in a scientific context, in a philosophical context, and in a legal context.

Aside from the equivocation, there's something else interesting in this source material. Let's assume the definitions of "evidence" and "anecdotal evidence" are the same across contexts. The last sentence states that anecdotal evidence may have value when applied to other forms of evidence. My initial statement was in regards to the fallacy when anecdotal evidence is the only source of data. Note the similarities in those concepts.


The final topic I will address is one of the implications regarding a conclusion being the result of a fallacious argument.

It is important to understand that a conclusion can be true and still be fallacious (in that it resulted from a fallacious argument). Fallacious is not the same as false when constructing arguments.

For example:
1. My neighbor's dog is a dalmatian.
2. Therefore, all dogs are dalmatians.
3. Therefore, my dog is a dalmatian.

#2 is a hasty generalization, since the instance of a single dog does not define the entirety of dogs, so this argument is fallacious. However, #3 could be true. I could own a dalmatian, in which case #1 and #3 are true, but #2 is a fallacy. Evaluating arguments determines if the thought process is valid (without fallacy), but does not confirm/refute the truth of the statements and/or conclusions.

Alright, I think that's enough content regarding argumentation and fallacies. I've evaluated all of the relevant content, so there's nothing else for me to add. I appreciate anyone who took the time to read this post and, hopefully, learned something in the process. If anyone has any further questions about fallacies (the ones explained here and/or other types) or argumentation, feel free to privately contact me so we can let this thread resume its initial intent.
 

Canuck

Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2013
6,125
5,781
South Surrey, BC
It is important to understand that a conclusion can be true and still be fallacious (in that it resulted from a fallacious argument). Fallacious is not the same as false when constructing arguments.
For example:
1. My neighbor's dog is a dalmatian.
2. Therefore, all dogs are dalmatians.
3. Therefore, my dog is a dalmatian.

Seriously? We all know this. The issue is when does something that is anecdotal have probative value. You said never. I said that's not true and sometimes anecdotal evidence can have probative value, or our courts would never admit it as evidence.

So we need to throw out your straw man argument above, and replace it with the correct one, which will also keep us on topic:

1. My dog is a dalmatian (Tesla).
2. Having owned my dalmatian (Tesla) for 4 years, I have learned that dalmatians have a good temperament and when my dog dies, I will get another dalmatian because I like the temperament of my dalmatian and it's reasonable to assume that other dalmatians will have the same or similar temperament.
3. Of course, a new dalmatian may not have the same temperament as my current dog but given that it will be a dalmatian (Tesla) and my experience with my dalmatian (Tesla) has been good, the conclusion drawn is not at all like the one you drew above to try to save your argument that:

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

That statement is clearly wrong. I know you are trying to walk it back now -- but I only took issue with this statement, since it is glaringly wrong. You would be much better off to just admit it. Long rambling posts do nothing to change the fact that this statement was wrong.

I don't know why you take such offence to my challenge of your statement. I agreed with everything else you said other than the last line since it was wrong. We all say things that are wrong. It's really no big deal.
 

AnxietyRanger

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Aug 22, 2014
9,408
7,979
EU
As I've been arguing in another thread, I believe this premise is true and a widely agreed-upon fact of life with Tesla.

Model X needs a better Quality Control team

There are at least two angles to this:

1) Tesla prioritizes deliveries within manufacturing quarter, which means tight regional batching - the further away from Fremont the destination, the earlier in the quarter the car is made - and this means many car deliveries happen right at the end of the quarter, because the closer to factory the delivery, the later the manufacturing also happens... A lot of the deliveries are even on the last day of the quartter and the concensus and experience on TMC IMO seems to be, Tesla wishes people to take delivery and ask to return with problems later. Because again the purpose is to make sure as many cars are delivered in-quarter as possible. Fixing problems later fits with this and because there is this in-quarter rush, there seems to be a need to optimize speed over quality.

2) There is also evidence of Tesla using the service center / store network to speed up manufacturing for the same purpose as in the previous point. Case in point: five seater Model X. Since not all parts were ready for assembly at Fremont, the cars were built only partially and then the car put on (slower) transport to service center / store for delivery. The parts were then "FedExed" straight to the service center for final assembly prior to delivery. This allowed the slower car transport to take place while the final parts were compeleted and shipped... again, to make sure as many cars as possible would be delivered within quarter. None of this, of course, is conducive to quality, as we learned with e.g. five-seater Model X as service center experience and part variance caused various of issues with the initial five-seaters.

I think the premise of this thread is very plausible and IMO likely very accurate. It makes sense and it fits logically with what we know of Tesla's apparent priorities.
 
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johnnyS

Member
Sep 8, 2011
587
203
My 2012 model S had less problems with panel and trim alignment than my 2016 model S. I do not see why they do not carefully check the cars before they are shipped, or why a delivery center does not check the cars before delivery. The rear hatch would not shut on our 2016 due to misalignment at delivery--didn't someone open the hatch once before delivery? Yes they fixed it, but it still bothers me a year later that we went home with no car from our delivery appointment.
 
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I am surprised (but maybe not) that Reuters takes the word of disgruntled let go workers and prints their comments as Gospel.

A legitimate news source would take the claims to Tesla and ask to check it out for themselves before coming up with the splashy headline.
And you think Tesla would answer and/or let such reporters in to witness for themselves? The currently employed Tesla factory workers are under some sort of NDA (Google for Tesla factory workers confidentiality agreement).
 

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