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Elon Musk says Model 3 production struggles are 'stressful' and 'painful'
July 19 2018, 05:07 | Alexander Lowe
Tesla, Inc. (TSLA) stock recent close stands at $294.08
It's been a tough few weeks for Tesla, the battery-electric automaker again missing production targets, being accused of improperly firing almost 1,000 factory workers and being scolded by federal safety regulators for its role in investigating a fatal crash involving its semi-autonomous Autopilot system.
"The uncoordinated release of investigative information can affect how other parties work with us in the future so we take each unauthorized release very seriously", O'Neil said.
This all stems from the aftermath of a March 23 fatal crash involving a Tesla Model X SUV that happened on U.S. Highway 101 in Mountain View, California.
And when King suggested that the factory could use more human workers and that automation had slowed the Model 3 production process, Musk again agreed, mentioning a "crazy, complex network of conveyor belts" Tesla had used until it became clear it wasn't working.
However, a statement on the Tesla website says that "logs from the computer inside the vehicle" indicate that Huang had "received several visual and one audible hands-on warning" immediately before the crash.
Shortly after Tesla released the information, an NTSB spokesman said the agency was "unhappy" about the disclosure. The family of the late driver is reportedly planning to file a wrongful-death suit against Tesla, claiming that its Autopilot feature is defective. In the crash, a 38-year-old man was killed when his Model X struck a freeway barrier that was either missing or had a damaged safety shield. For example, the NTSB issued an urgent safety recommendation on March 19 related to the crash of a sightseeing helicopter in New York City, which allowed corrective actions to be carried out immediately. And that situation could worsen as more alternatives to the Tesla come to market, warned Gordon Johnson, an analyst with the Vertical Group during a CNBC interview.
The Sunday Times' technology writer Danny Fortson said the episode encapsulated Tesla, which is "a deeply loss-making company that is worth more than Ford yet produces 1% of the vehicles".
Musk's plan to craft the machine that builds machines only picked up steam when Tesla acquired Perbix, an automated manufacturing company that Tesla had long-running business ties with. By defending its Autopilot technology, the company has said it's helping avoid human-driver accidents. "If anything, the NTSB is shining a spotlight on Tesla due to their innovation", Friedman said. Insiders sold a total of 5,529 shares of company stock valued at $1,786,841 in the last three months. "You know. Terrible", he said. Tesla has said it warns drivers that they are always responsible for the safe operation of the vehicle.
In its statement Thursday, Tesla accused the NTSB of focusing on the "safest cars in America" while ignoring less-safe vehicles.
"We were probably a little overconfident, a little complacent, in thinking this is something we understand", he said at the time.
The NTSB makes recommendations to prevent crashes, while NHTSA has authority to fine automakers, push for recalls and seek regulations.