Elon Musk and his Tesla cars are known globally. There are Tesla stores popping up all over the planet, and Musk’s net worth is something that most people aspire to achieve. Tesla expanded from electric cars to giant batteries and solar products. Musk has even branched out from cars into space travel, launching his SpaceX Rocket. Throughout the last 12 years, SpaceX has had some notable achievements, including the first privately developed liquid-fuel launch vehicle to orbit the Earth, being the first commercial provider to both launch and recover a spaceship from outer space, as well as landing an orbital-class rocket booster.
However, despite all their fame and success, Musk and his Tesla cars have seen their share of controversy as well. Workers injured, paint shops catching fire, controversial tweets igniting the Internet…and that’s just the start. Musk did not have a good 2018, which was filled with arguments and scandal from top to bottom. Read on to see many more misadventures of Musk and Tesla.
15 Drivers Have Operation Issues
Surprisingly, a lot of Tesla drivers don’t know how to operate the actual vehicle, even when it comes to turning it on. A lot of drivers came to service shops to have repaired what the drivers could have easily repaired themselves. The biggest feature that caused issues was the autopilot.
14 Tweets Trigger Fraud Investigations
Twitter has been quite a problem for Elon Musk. Musk tweeted that “Tesla made 0 cars in 2011, but will make around 500k in 2019,” causing confusion and requiring clarification. Musk later added Tesla would make about 500,000 cars, but estimates were about 400,000. Securities and Exchange Commission then began investigating a possible violation over terms of a 2018 settlement.
13 Lack of New Car Production
Tesla has also not been producing as many new cars lately. Tesla introduces about one new vehicle each year and infrequently makes significant physical changes, instead focusing on software improvements. The focus is not hardware, but computer code. This is smaller by comparison to other auto manufacturers and their annual production.
12 Musk Fought The Ford
A Tesla and a Ford literally engaged in a tug of war. The Tesla Cybertruck (all-wheel drive) faced off against the Ford F-150 (rear-wheel drive) and the Cybertruck won. When many acknowledged the Cybertruck’s superior horsepower and accused Musk of being unfair after the video was uploaded, Musk reluctantly agreed to a rematch.
11 Assembly Line Carries Great Defect
Tesla’s assembly line is also the cause of controversy. Workers have tried effortlessly to fix vehicles once they roll off the assembly line. Musk made the final assembly process of putting all components into the vehicle much more automated, but it didn’t pan out, just like it failed with other car manufacturers previously.
10 The Paint Shop Caught Fire
How did the paint shop catch fire? Well, all that was said was cardboard and shipping materials on the southern fence line caught fire. The Tesla plant in Fremont, CA was on fire here, but others also catch fire. Further, employees were exposed to fumes, the sprinkler heads and air filtration systems were clogged with paint, and several fires have occurred since 2014.
9 Their Safety Claims Are Inconsistent
Tesla’s safety claims can often be inconsistent. They even had the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration subpoena them regarding safety claims about the Model 3. The NHTSA wanted to make sure the claims about the Model 3 weren’t unfair or deceptive. Tesla’s rating system and terms are often inconsistent with the NHTSA’s rules.
8 High Rates Of Worker Injuries Reported
Several workers have been injured at Tesla plants- even more than the company wants to admit. While companies are required to report any injuries beyond first aid that cause employees to take time off work, several employees claimed that their injuries made it to the official books. Company officials wrote off serious on-the-job injuries as personal injuries or first aid.
7 Plant Layout Was Reported As Dangerous
The Tesla plant layout was also reported as not keeping safety first for employees. Personal injury risk was so high that people were nearly hit or crushed by cars every day. Repeated accidents were the result of hoists not being engineered or inspected prior to use for lifting heavy car parts.
6 Musk Didn’t Want Warning Signs
Employees at Tesla plants say Musk himself was not fond of having signs in the factory, warning beeps from machinery, safety shoes in the plant, or “anything yellow.” His preferences were widespread and known to cut back on standard safety signals like caution tape or warning signs, making the Tesla plant dangerous to pedestrians.
5 Tesla’s Board Defied Regulators
Tesla’s board of directors defied a lot of regulators. The Securities and Exchange Commission accused Musk of securities fraud. In response, Tesla’s board released a statement, being sure to note how the company was “fully confident in Elon, his integrity, and his leadership of the company,” defying regulators in the process.
4 Contradictory Tweets Return
While Musk made some troubling tweets in 2018, he did so again in 2019. Musk made a tweet talking about how many cars would be headed out for Europe in 2019. First, it was 4,000, but then it was 5,000. He then attempted to cover up this apparent contradiction with another tweet saying both numbers were valid in their own way.
3 Accusations Against Cave Diver
In late 2018, Musk was called out for referring to a British cave diver assisting in a Thai cave rescue a “pedophile.” Although Musk later apologized initially for the insult, it came up again a few months later, when Musk commented it was strange how the diver hadn’t sued him yet.
2 Reported Journalists As ‘Sanctimonious’
via the dailybeast.com
Musk has gone on record blasting journalists as ‘sanctimonious’ for losing their credibility. Musk even went so far as to threaten to create and fund a website that would rate any article’s credibility and author’s credentials. Musk also fired back at anyone who compared him to President Donald Trump for blasting media outlets he dislikes.
1 Service Centers Have Slow Resolution
For those who want a repair for their Tesla, the wait time is long and the resolution is longer. Drivers have reported they go to service centers and leave without having the issue resolved. They have even documented experiences online that show they returned from the service center with twice as many issues.
Sources: usatoday.com, time.com, nytimes.com, hotcars.com, businessinsider.com
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