Telsa Motors halted the Model 3 production lines at its sprawling Fremont factory this week for the second time this year. According to the company, the pause is temporary, expected to last four to five days, BuzzFeed reports.
The production shutdown comes shortly after Tesla reported first-quarter 2018 production volume for the Model 3, Model S, and Model X. At the end of March, Model 3s had just begun to roll off the line at a 2,000 plus weekly rate. Tesla affirmed in the quarterly statement it still held to its long-promised 5,000 cars-per-week production goal and declared it would hit the target by the end of the second quarter.
The current line stoppage comes only a few days after Tesla CEO Elon Musk took the hit personally for relying too much on “excessive automation.” At the same time, Musk stated “Humans are underrated,” implying Tesla planned increased human involvement in Model 3 production.
Telsa employees told BuzzFeed that, with no warning, they were given the choice of using vacation time or taking days off without pay during the production halt. Following a February Model 3 production line pause which Tesla described as “common in production ramps like this,” according to Bloomberg, Model 3 line workers they were asked to work longer hours, with extra pay, to make up for the lost time.
Tesla was in the news last week fending off concerns about its AutoPilot partial vehicle autonomy technology. After the car manufacturer attributed blame for a March fatality in a Telsa Model X to human error, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported it removed Tesla as a party to the accident investigation. Tesla stated at the time it voluntarily gave up “party” status in the NHTSA investigation in order “to correct misleading claims that had been made about Autopilot.”
The theme of unfair press coverage of Tesla continued this week in another Tesla statement in the company blog.
Yesterday Tesla refuted an article published by Reveal. Tesla stated the article “paints a completely false picture of Tesla and what it is actually like to work here. In our view, what they portray as investigative journalism is in fact an ideologically motivated attack by an extremist organization working directly with union supporters to create a calculated disinformation campaign against Tesla.”