In a race to make the long-awaited production of Model 3 work as planned, Tesla silently hid the true amount of workplace injuries at its Fremont, Calif., Assembly plant, according to a new report. This offsets the company's reports of a sharp drop in injuries and casts another shadow on plans to achieve mass production goals.
Tesla may have violated state law by not reporting these serious injuries to workers, according to research conducted by Reveal and the Research Reporting Center. These include reports of "cut by machinery, crushed by forklifts, burned in electric explosions and sprayed with molten metal," says Reveal's story.
"Cut by machinery, crushed by forklift trucks"
Injuries were reported by workers to supervisors or managers, but complaints were dismissed. California law requires that injuries sustained in the workplace be reported, but it is reported that Tesla used other ways to avoid reporting.
It is not the first report of problems with employees at the Fremont factory. In October, Tesla was beaten with allegations of racial harassment, anti-LGBT harassment and dismissal of pro-union employees.
In a statement on the company's blog on Monday entitled "A story not so revealing," Tesla denounced the story of Reveal. The automaker accused the publication of harassing workers since last fall by telephone or on social networks or even in the factory parking lot. The company said the story was based on misleading or inaccurate information, claiming it was motivated by parties that have been trying to unionize the plant. The automaker claims that Reveal journalists have been harassing workers by telephone and social networks, as well as in their homes and on Tesla's property.
"What they portray as investigative journalism is in fact an attack ideologically motivated by an extremist organization."
"From our point of view, what they describe as investigative journalism is in fact an ideologically motivated attack by an extremist organization that works directly with union supporters to create a disinformation campaign calculated against Tesla," the company said in the message.
Tesla maintains that its injury rate at the Fremont factory is half of what it was a decade ago when General Motors and Toyota operated facilities like NUMMI.