Tesla has been the center of controversy several times in the past. The most current example of this would be the recent semi-autonomous Tesla crash which killed driver Walter Huang but the company has received criticism on many occasions in the past, as well.
In October, the company received a formal complaint from the United Auto Workers union. The organization claimed Tesla allegedly fired hundreds of employees from their Fremont factory for having union ties.
Now, according to a report from Reveal, Tesla has allegedly been under-reporting the injuries their workers have received while working at the California-based factory.
The outlet performed an "investigation" into the matter to determine whether or not Tesla's recent 2017 factory injury rate report -- which contained noticeably lower injury numbers than reports from previous years -- was accurate and indicative of the company's true injury rates.
The outlet found that Tesla was reportedly filing many injuries under the "personal medical" category. Since injuries filed under this category do not need to be publicly reported, Reveal feels these findings could explain Tesla's lower official injury rate numbers in 2017.
One such filing involved 27-year-old Alaa Alkhafagi, a Tesla factory worker who was reportedly told to clear excess paint from a clogged hose. Losing his balance after his foot got stuck in said paint, he fell and "[smashed] his head and arm." According to Reveal, the accident was never recorded in Tesla's official injury logs.
Tesla has since responded to Reveal's report, emphasizing their commitment to factory safety and calling out Reveal's reporters for presenting "misrepresentative and outright inaccurate" information.
The following statement excerpt details some of Tesla's biggest complaints:
...We believe in transparency and would never intentionally misrepresent our safety record to our employees or the public. Reveal showed us a number of cases where they claimed injuries should have been documented as work-related rather than personal. In fact, we have reviewed and confirmed that the recorded injuries Reveal disputed to us were properly recorded by Tesla. Their assessment reflects a lack of understanding about how injury reporting works.
...Reveal's reporters have spent several months searching for old, misrepresentative and outright inaccurate information about safety at Tesla’s Fremont factory. Since last fall, employees have complained to us that they’ve felt harassed by these reporters after being tracked down on social media, getting unexpected phone calls without knowing how their cell numbers were obtained, and even being visited in Tesla’s parking lot and at their homes unannounced.