Production ramp-up the cause of poor QC – Elon Musk –

Tesla vehicles are notoriously known for their quality control issues, and what does company CEO Elon Musk have to say about it? “Either buy it right at the beginning or when production reaches a steady state,” he was quoted when responding to vehicle engineering consultant Sandy Munro, Autocar reports.

That’s a rather peculiar piece of advice, coming from the CEO of a high value car company himself. “During that production ramp-up it’s super hard to be in vertical climb mode and get everything right on all the little details. So if you really want things to be dialled, it’s either very early cars or once production has levelled off. That’s when things are going to be the best,” Musk said.

Most common customer complaints include inferior paint quality, irregular panel gaps, and water ingress. In response to this, Musk said: “We did improve our gap and paint quality towards the end of last year – even during the course of December. We were able to focus on it and improve it to a great deal.”

Regarding the paint issue, the problem was that the paint did not get enough time to dry because the production line was moving too quickly. Any cars built during these ramp-up periods were more prone to have issues, Musk noted. “Production is hell. Of any American start-up car company, I think Tesla is the first to achieve volume production in 100 years, basically.”

“So prototypes are, relatively speaking, easy and fun, but reaching volume production with reliable parts and at an affordable price is excruciatingly difficult,” he added. Tesla sped up car production in 2020 in hopes of achieving its target of 500,000 units, but the automaker narrowly missed the mark – it was just shy of 450 cars.

Besides paint and panel gap issues, Tesla again made headlines last year when it announced a recall for more than 130,000 Model X and Model S over an electrical issue, the failure of which could lead to the loss of several key vehicle functions.

Tesla is reportedly ramping up production of the Model Y in the US, before focusing on three other high-profile launches this year – the Semi lorry, Roadster sports car, and controversial Cybertruck.

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