In brief: When you look at the price of Tesla's vehicle line-up, you may assume that they're built to last – and for the most part, you'd probably be right. However, as the company struggles to return to profitability, it's had to ramp up production significantly, and new reports suggest that may come with a few drawbacks.
Tesla employees who spoke to CNBC on the condition of anonymity told the outlet that, in order to meet the company's ambitious production goals, they were forced to resort to "fast fixes" to plastic part housing using materials as weak as electrical tape. Four individuals interviewed by CNBC claim this practice was even dictated by their supervisors.
Employees also say that their working conditions weren't exactly optimal. Those who worked in Tesla's outdoor production tent complained about poor air quality, extreme heat during the day, and other issues.
Tesla, for its part, says that the information provided by its employees is "misleading" and otherwise unrepresentative of what it's truly like to work inside the production tent.
"We work hard to create a work environment that is as safe, fair and fun as possible, and it is incredibly important to us that employees look forward to coming to work every day," the company said. "In fact, we have a large number of employees who request to work on GA4 based on what they hear from colleagues and what they have seen first-hand."
Tesla also said that there could be other explanations for the electrical tape claims, noting that "many" Model 3 parts come with electrical tale pre-applied; fresh from the supplier. CNBC was able to confirm this information, but clarified that the photographs provided by employees were a far cry from the clean, neatly-applied tape that comes from suppliers – for employees, the tape was "hastily cut," with "torn ends."
This isn't the first time reports have surfaced that criticize working conditions inside Tesla. The company was slapped with a near-$30,000 OSHA fine in January after the organization found numerous health hazards within Tesla's production tent, including large, uncovered holes and exposed poles that posed an "impalement hazard."
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