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Tesla taps local machine shops to fix supplier flaws

by Byron Hurd

Tesla\'s teething problems are on full display at local machine shops.

Tesla is turning to local machine shops to address quality issues with deliveries from its parts suppliers, and stacks of rejected components have been spotted outside at least one such outfit.

Current and former Tesla engineers have confirmed that he company is "struggling" amidst a "significant volume of flawed or damaged parts from its suppliers," CNBC reports.

Tesla told the outlet that the components piling up outside a local machine shop represent only "a small subset of parts from suppliers," and that the issue "has not constrained or delayed its Model 3 build plan."

Tesla fell short of its first-quarter weekly production target for the Model 3 by roughly 20%.

While rejected parts are fairly common in the auto industry, Tesla has already reported that it both produces and receives from suppliers a larger-than-average volume of defective or damaged components, or indeed components that need to be modified for various reasons.

Employees claim the issue revolves around Tesla's push to scale up production of its volume model, prompting the company to reduce the amount of time spent evaluating suppliers.

The components and tooling spotted at a San Jose machine shop indicate that the problem is not contained to just the Model 3 production line, as part numbers were spotted which correspond to the Model S and Model X as well. The parts in question included door frames and shock mounts, among others.