Tesla Stops Critical Brake and Roll Test to Meet Production Goals

Tesla likes to cut corners. Following news it eliminated 300 welds, comes news it stopped a brake and roll test.

There are several Tesla stories today, none of them any good.

Brake and Roll

Elon Musk ordered Tesla engineers to stop doing a critical brake and roll test on Model 3s cars.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk ordered his employees to stop putting nearly finished Model 3s through a critical test before leaving the company's factory in Fremont, California, according to an internal document viewed by Business Insider.

Ron Harbour, a consultant at Oliver Wyman who founded and writes "The Harbour Report," a worldwide guide to manufacturing, told Business Insider that after everything is installed in a car during the manufacturing process, a manufacturer would have to be very lucky for everything on a car to be in alignment.

"If you just abandon [the test], you could potentially have a lot of quality issues with your customers," he said. "Every plant does that ... It's part of finishing the build of the car."

Harbour told Business Insider he was unaware of any test that could adequately replace the brake-and-roll test on a manufacturing line.

Reservations and Deliveries Decline

Goldman Sachs is unimpressed by Tesla meeting its Model 3 goal.

  • Goldman Sachs is not impressed with Tesla's production announcement and reiterates its sell rating for the company's shares, noting net Model 3 reservations declined to 420,000 from 455,000 last year.
  • Tesla said Monday it reached its one-week production goal of 5,000 Model 3 cars for the last week of the June quarter. But the company fell short on its second-quarter deliveries by posting 40,740 vehicles delivered versus the Wall Street consensus expectation of approximately 51,000.

Shouting Elon Musk Changes Rules on the Fly

CNBC comments on a shouting Elon Musk and changing rules.

A tense and short-tempered Chief Executive Elon Musk barked at engineers on the Fremont, California assembly line. Tesla pulled workers from other departments to keep pumping out the Model 3 electric sedans, disrupting production of the Model S and X lines. And weekend shifts were mandatory.

Leading up to Sunday morning's production milestone, Musk paced the Model 3 line, snapping at his engineers when the around-the-clock production slowed or stopped due to problems with robots, one worker said. Tesla built a new line in just two weeks in a huge tent outside the main factory, an unprecedented move in an industry that takes years to plan out its assembly lines, and said the tented production area accounted for 20 percent of the Model 3s produced last week.

"They were borrowing people from our line all day to cover their (Model 3) breaks so the line would continue to move," said a Model S worker on Sunday.

Because of the focus on the Model 3, the S line is about 800 cars behind, the worker said.

"They've been throwing Model 3s ahead of the S to get painted to try to assure that they make their goal of 5,000," the worker said. "The paint department can't handle the volume."

"He (Musk) is gonna go through an awful lot of people because people are gonna start getting hurt left and right," by the fast-moving assembly line, a worker said.

Crap Quality

For discussion of the 300 dropped welds, please see Model 3 Assembly Line: Detailed Images of Tesla's "On the Fly" Manufacturing.

The quality of these rushed vehicles is guaranteed to be crap, just to make a self-imposed production number.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (22)
No. 1-22

I am absolutely amazed that Elon Musk didn't think it was important to have a staff that could design a factory capable of producing 5000 cars a week. Much less provide the capital expenditures and staff training necessary to make it happen. That is absolutely pathetic.

I feel so sorry for all of those nice, yet naive folks who plunked down real, hard earned money for a new Model 3. They trusted Elon Musk and he let them down. They are going to get a poorly manufactured product, years behind when they thought they would, and almost certainly costing far more than they planned.


Elon Musk is going to get his balls sued off.


No he won't. He has an army of The True Believers (Eic Hoffer circa 1951) who tend to be Maserati Marxists and Virtue Signalers (I am greener than you are) who shop at Whole Foods and who will in a few years, if not months, a very expensive if not green "doorstop!


I wonder if TSLA is going to up their reserve for anticipated product safety claims? Should be a field day for product liability lawyers.


Let's see how many people cancel orders now, or even refuse to take delivery until the brake and roll test is performed. Does a NTSB step in? How about USDOT? Does the SEC halt trading in TSLA shares due to potential fraud? Do lenders pull financing for new vehicles?

Which is going to happen first?