A former Tesla employee has sued the company, claiming it sold defective vehicles and fired him because he knew about it.
Adam Williams began working for Tesla at the company’s Springfield, New Jersey location in 2011. In his lawsuit he claims he discovered the company illegally failed to “disclose to consumers high-dollar, pre-delivery damage repairs” before transactions were complete.
Mr Williams said he approached his direct superior Matt Farrell, a company vice president, Jerome Guillen, and Lenny Peake, Tesla’s East Coast Regional Manager, on several occasions, to no avail.
In early 2017 Mr Williams was demoted from a regional manager to a service manager. He claims he was demoted again in July 2017 before being fired two months later.
Tesla told Mr Williams that his employment was terminated due to his work performance. However, he argues that his performance met Tesla’s standards and he was fired because he reported Tesla’s alleged illegal practices, an action that would come under the protection of the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), New Jersey’s ‘whistle-blower act’…
According to cnbc.com, Tesla is manufacturing a “surprisingly” high ratio of flawed parts and vehicles, according to several current and former employees, leading to more rework and repairs than can be contained at its factory in Fremont, California.
The US news website said one current Tesla engineer estimated 40 percent of the parts made or received at its Fremont factory require rework. The need for reviews of parts coming off the line and rework has contributed to Model 3 delays, the engineer said.
“Another current employee from Tesla’s Fremont factory said the company’s defect rate is so high that it’s hard to hit production targets. Inability to hit the numbers is in turn hurting employee morale,” cnbc.com claimed.
Tesla has denied the claims.
“Our remanufacturing team does not ‘rework’ cars,” a company representative said. The spokesperson said the employees might be conflating rework and remanufacturing, and said every vehicle is subjected to rigorous quality control involving more than 500 inspections and tests.
In a separate statement a Tesla spokesperson dismissed Mr Williams’ claims as “totally false,” and described the firing and sale of defective cars as “not how we do things at Tesla.”
“It’s also at odds with the fact that we rank highest of any car brand in customer satisfaction, with more owners saying they’d buy a Tesla again than any other manufacturer,” said the Tesla representative.
In 2016 Tesla settled with a Model X owner who sued the company over alleged design flaws.