California regulator launches investigation into Tesla over injury reports

20 April, 2018, 01:51 | Author: Natasha Holloway
  • Tesla Motors

On Friday, Musk acknowledged for the first time that he had relied too much on automation in the Model 3 assembly line, a stunning concession from Tesla's CEO who has earlier scoffed at competitors' manufacturing prowess and boasted about creating an "Alien Dreadnought" within the Fremont factory by this year.

Just a few days after Tesla called an article claiming it purposely underreported serious factory injuries "misrepresentative and outright inaccurate", the automaker is facing an investigation into the allegations by California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA).

Erika Monterroza, a spokeswoman for Cal/OSHA, said it "takes seriously reports of workplace hazards and allegations of employers' underreporting recordable work-related injuries and illnesses" and "currently has an open inspection at Tesla". This inhalation injury was allegedly not added to the official injury logs at Tesla.

Though Cal/OSHA didn't pinpoint why it initiated an investigation into workplace safety at Tesla, the timing is certainly curious. Other injuries like sprains and repetitive strain injury from building the cars were also allegedly not logged.

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In an emailed statement released on Wednesday, Tesla responded to news of California's investigation, saying that the injury rate at Fremont was lower than when Toyota Motor Corp. and then-General Motors Corp. operated the factory with UAW-represented workers.

Many of them were first-day reservation holders, which could mean that Tesla is implementing the fix to the invite rollout. Musk wrote an email to his staff suggesting measures for precision, profit and productivity, automotive news website Electrek reported. "Any that fail to meet the Tesla standard of excellence will have their contracts ended on Monday", Musk wrote.

Referring to it as "production hell", Mr Musk said he is working round the clock to help get through the backlog of cars Tesla has to produce.

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