Tesla has taken legal action against a Chinese media outlet after it published an article criticizing its Shanghai Gigafactory on December 25, 2020.
The article in question, titled ‘Giga-Sweatshop Meets Corporate Overloards: An Exclusive Look Into How Tesla China Runs Its Shanghai Gigactory 3’, was published by PingWest and makes damning claims about working conditions at the facility, as well as quality-control issues and other areas of concern.
Speaking with PingWest, several current and former Tesla China employees allegedly assert that “Tesla is doing whatever it can to hit the production goal, including lowering its quality standards.” One source claims he is aware of at least one case where Tesla knowingly used defective parts on a production vehicle.
A representative from a Tesla supplier added that “We simply can’t make enough parts that meet quality standard. It’s stressful. The solution has been straightforward: just take the defective parts, and send them to Tesla.”
A current employee says that the automaker has also knowingly produced vehicles that do not meet its original quality-control standards and instead of using better suppliers, has simply lowered its pre-delivery inspection standards. “Let’s say, in the past, our vehicles need 80 points in order to leave the factory, now it’s only 60,” said the employee.
Sources speaking with PingWest also claim that Tesla does not provide food for its factory workers and will only supply instant noodles to those working shifts after 8:30 p.m. It is also alleged that requests to supply steam bread for workers has been declined by Tesla.
None too pleased with these accusations, Tesla recently issued an indictment letter to PingWest and has taken the media outlet to court, Global Times reports. Tesla China’s vice president for external affairs, Tao Lin, has denied all accusations but PingWest is sticking to its guns, defending its report and saying it comes from information provided by former and current Tesla employees, as well as industry insiders.