Quality Control

Quality Control

Hello, I'm making a research about how Tesla Motors manage the quality in their products.
Sadly I can't find that much information about it.

For example, Tesla Motors certifications, tests for their products during the manufacturing process, ecc.

Thank you in advance.

DonS | 11 november 2015

I don't know details, but I do know that all failure data is fed back to improve quality. Since the company owned service centers do 99.9% of the work, very little escapes data collection. Tesla quality staff knows exactly where the issues are, so they know where to make improvements. Engineers adjust the design for better reliability, and the factory makes the production so repeatable that once set up is done, every car is right the first try. If there are problem areas, additional tests can be added, but in the long term it is better to change manufacturing to eliminate the cause of the problem.

ian | 11 november 2015

From an update email I received yesterday...

"The State of the Art Tesla Factory

Our production facility in Fremont, California, spans 5.3 million square feet, or the equivalent of 90 indoor football fields. Robots, over 800 in total, dominate the body assembly area. We named them after X-Men characters because of their superhero-like abilities. Wolverine and Iceman have a large range of motion to lift cars onto the overhead platform. Xavier and Beast grab cars from an overhead electrified rail and place them gently on the floor below. Storm and Colossus can be found at the end of the chassis line moving cars to the buffering area while Polaris and Havok apply Urethane to the front and rear glass.

The factory is also home to five press lines capable of stamping an aluminum body panel every five seconds. Quality control is paramount. Our Coordinate Measuring Machines taking accurate readings to 5/1000ths of a millimeter (5 microns) for quality control. At every stage, we use optical and laser scanning as well as trained human eyes. Each station checks the work of the previous station in real time."

Grinnin'.VA | 12 november 2015

ian | November 11, 2015

[[ "The State of the Art Tesla Factory

[[ ... Quality control is paramount. Our Coordinate Measuring Machines taking accurate readings to 5/1000ths of a millimeter (5 microns) for quality control. At every stage, we use optical and laser scanning as well as trained human eyes. ]]

^^ Yes.
BTW, my 85D has door moldings misaligned by 3 millimeters in a couple of places. When I asked my service center about this, they said that the doors and door moldings were mounted by hand, and that many MS cars are far worse than mine. I was shown a few examples, which did indeed look far worse to me. Nevertheless, they graciously offered to have a body shop try to fix my alignment problem. I decided to decline that offer and just live with my car as is.

OTOH, my wife's 2015 Prius doesn't seem to have any misalignment of 1 millimeter or more. I wonder how Toyota manages to get such obvious, better QC on doors and trim alignment. Any ideas?

Brian H | 12 november 2015

Longer practice?

David N | 13 november 2015

I remember talking to a worker of a Domestic auto assembly line. To keep the line moving they did whatever they needed to do (not good things). On the other hand, in reading about Toyota's early assembly line, when an assembly worker saw something that wasn't exactly correct he had the authority to hit the "stop" the line button. Supervisors would come over to examine the issue and find the solution on the spot, right then and there. Toyota was concerned with making the highest dependable auto, period.
Toyota's focus on quality has paid off. Elon has the same if not more focus. He has said numerous times he shoots for "perfection".
As long as issues are brought to the attention of Tesla, I'm confident that they will find the problem and correct it.
Brian H is correct, it does take time to made aware that a 3 millimeter "tweak" is needed.
It its early days, Elon's desk was on the main floor of the assembly line. When an issue came up it was addressed immediately. If needed, by him personally. Early on they were making upwards of 100 improvements (tweeks) a week.
Its nice to see that the goal is perfection, rather than mediocrity.
Makes me wonder at times what exactly are the goals of some of the current manufacturers.

Grinnin'.VA | 13 november 2015

@ David N | November 13, 2015

[[ As long as issues are brought to the attention of Tesla, I'm confident that they will find the problem and correct it.

[[ Brian H is correct, it does take time to made aware that a 3 millimeter "tweak" is needed.

[[ Its nice to see that the goal is perfection, rather than mediocrity. ]]

^^ I agree -- almost. IMO, "perfection" is an unattainable goal, not worth really shooting for.

OTOH, it seems to me that Tesla hasn't yet matched Toyota on the quality of its cars as they come out of the factory and are delivered to the customers.

One data point: When it was 6 months old, my 85D had a switch failure that disabled the right front seat adjustment. (Not a big deal -- they fixed it routinely.) My wife's Prius is slightly older, but it has yet to suffer any malfunction. I think this sort of thing is what's behind the disappointing Consumer Reports reliability rating.

Simply put, Tesla isn't yet where it needs to be on build quality and reliability. They have reported substantial progress on that. Hopefully, that progress will show up in greatly improved CR reliability numbers in next year's survey.

Fugacity | 13 november 2015

Quality Control involves far more than responding to a problem, after a problem becomes obvious. A good place to begin understanding modern quality control is to review ISO Standards, International Organization for Standards. Very briefly, ISO requires that organizations: Document your procedures for all things the organization does, [say what you do], Follow your documented procedures and audit your performance to ensure that employees are actually following procedures, [Do what you say] and set about to continually improve every operation and then update your procedures to achieve capture the improvement method.

ISO compliance requires a deep dive into all aspects of the business which goes far beyond waiting for a crisis to arise and then managing the crisis.

A good example of how to do Quality Control properly is the car industry. In the 1970s and 80s, US car makers were focused on finding ways to squeeze another nickel profit from each vehicle. All the 70s and 80s US made cars I owned were complete junk. Most US companies had no understanding of Quality Control beyond manufacturing. An accounting manager in the early 80s told me that Accounting did not need quality control. They knew how to do Accounting and had been doing it for years. After replacing him and explaining quality to his replacement, the time to close books at month's end was decreased by 70%. There were other examples of accounting improvements.

Japan car makers by comparison were searching daily on how they could improve every aspect of their business. Detection of a manufacturing defect was cause for celebration because they now had another operation that could be improved.

Brian H | 15 november 2015

Duh. Study CR rating procedures. 2 models on sale required. All above is irrelevant.

brando | 15 november 2015

Random thoughts on Quality - Total Quality Management

The father of Building Quality vs Quality Inspection/Control.

Standard Company
* Quality is expensive
* Defects are caused by workers
* Buy at lowest cost
* Fear and reward are proper ways to motivate
* Play one supplier off against another
Deming Company
* Quality leads to lower costs
* Most defects are caused by the system
* Buy from vendors committed to quality
* Fear leads to disaster
* Work with suppliers

The Funnel Experiment was devised by Dr. Deming to describe the adverse effects of tampering with a process by making changes to it without first making a careful study of the possible causes of the variation in that process.
Dr. Deming: The American Who Taught the Japanese About Quality
by Rafael Aguayo

Using Deming ideas, Lexus assembly time was down to <50hrs. While Benz S Class Quality inspection and repair was 240hrs/car after assembly.

Deming WWII work directly with US assembly line workers - no time to train mgt. to train workers. After WWII mgt. didn't understand and largely undid Deming work. Union of Japan Scientist (something like that) asked Deming to give seminar on Mfg. Deming asked who would attend. Senior Engineers and Scientists from Major Companies. Deming declined. Why? He told them CEOs and top management must attend (Mr. Toyota, Sony, Honda etc.) If upper management didn't understand, it would be a waste of time for everyone. The CEOs came to Seminar and now Japan has a Deming Award for Mfg. companies.

Sadly, to me anyway, Deming methods are popularly known as the "Toyota Method". Ok, over simplified story - read above book for more details and visit Remember in mid 80s "Quality job 1" at FORD. And history repeats as Henry III thinks assembly plant workers getting to large bonuses and throws out Deming policies he didn't like.

Quality a process, a cycle of design - construction - improvement. Elon seems to well understand this as he has said important for the engineers to have offices in the assembly plant - Space-X.

jordanrichard | 16 november 2015

Here is something many are not taking into consideration. Like every other car company, Tesla can only be as good as their suppliers. So if a batch of faulty widgets gets delivered to Tesla, how is that their fault. As it is widely known, Tesla had problems with getting Tier one suppliers to work with them.

I am not saying there are things under their control, but things that they outsource are under the control of those suppliers.

Remnant | 17 november 2015

Keep complaining.

Hold the bar high.

TM must be the best.

Red Sage ca us | 20 november 2015

OK. Howzabout a goal of 'Imperceptibly Imperfect', then? Of course, some people have considered Porsche, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz vehicles as 'Practically Perfect' for quite some time, and I can always find flaws in their design. Perhaps Imperfection is in the Eye of the Beholder?

Red Sage ca us | 20 november 2015

When a particular switch is used on 500,000 examples of a vehicle per year... And when that switch is also shared among two or three other vehicle designs from the same marque... So that perhaps three or four million examples are built each year... There is a possibility that any issues with manufacturing are discovered and corrected within the first 50,000 examples being built. Thus, it is less likely that the same error will be perceived as a quality issue later on in production.

Grinnin'.VA | 20 november 2015

@ Red Sage ca us | November 20, 2015

\\ When a particular switch is used on 500,000 examples of a vehicle per year... There is a possibility that any issues with manufacturing are discovered and corrected within the first 50,000 examples being built. Thus, it is less likely that the same error will be perceived as a quality issue later on in production. //

^^ Yes.
However, the ball is in Tesla's court.
I think it's entirely appropriate for MS owners and the auto trade press to hold Tesla accountable for the actual reliability issues with their cars, particularly since Tesla likes to brag about the MS being inherently a more reliable car that should cost less to maintain than ICE cars.

I look forward to next year's CR owners' reliability survey results to show progress by Tesla toward establishing the MS as one of the most reliable cars on the road. Until then, I presume that the 2015 CR survey results are valid: Tesla needs to improve reliability, not just put out PR claiming reliability/quality as a Tesla advantage. IMO, Tesla talk is cheap, but not particularly impressive.

BTW, what happened to the clear statement by Elon and JBS last year about a 7%-8% improvement in battery density per year? The 90-kWh battery delivered less than 7% improvement over a 4 year period, which is about 25% of the improvement they stated they were making.

Why should anyone believe what they say when it conflicts with what they deliver?

Red Sage ca us | 20 november 2015

The point is that if Tesla Motors intends to build ~400,000 to ~500,000 of the Model S before its replacement arrives, finding errors, glitches, and foibles within the first 10%-15% of the product run is not unusual. And judging reliability based upon the function of a single switch with the same weight as the entire car not functioning at all is a bit harsh, to say the least. When someone asks if you have 'reliable transportation' on a job interview, they don't likely care if the dome light switch sticks or not.

deeageux | 21 november 2015

According to Consumer Reports via insideevs


Worse than average:
BMW 5 Series
BMW i3
Cadillac XTS
Tesla Model S
Porsche Cayman
Porsche Macan

Much worse than average:
Acura RLX
Cadillac ATX
Cadillac Escalade
Chevy Corvette
Chevy Suburban
Chevy Tahoe/GMC Yukon
Chrysler 300
Dodge Challenger
Infiniti Q50
Infiniti QX60
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Mercedes CLA
Mercedes C-Class
Mercedes GL-Class
Mercedes S-Class

FREE ENERGY | 21 november 2015

Quality Management by fear, the VW way

As Lutz tells it, Piëch fostered a culture of fear and intimidation that permeated the entire company from the chairman’s office on down. “Do it or you’re fired!” was standard operating procedure at VW during the decades that Piëch was the chief executive.

How does Lutz know this? He once congratulated Piëch on how tight the fit was on the body of Volkswagen newest Golf and asked him how he did it. Accurate shut lines are always a matter of great concern to car companies.

According to Lutz, Piëch replied, “I’ll give you the recipe. I called all the body engineers, stamping people, manufacturing, and executives into my conference room. And I said, ‘I am tired of all these lousy body fits. You have six weeks to achieve world-class body fits. I have all your names. If we do not have good body fits in six weeks, I will replace all of you. Thank you for your time today’. ”

Lutz says that when people are given the choice of being fired today or being fired at some point in the future, they always choose to protect themselves now and worry about the consequences later. Whether Piëch actually ordered his people to install software that would cheat on emissions tests or whether he even knew it was being done is irrelevant. The corporate culture fostered by Piëch left his employees no choice.

“That management style gets short-term results, but it’s a culture that’s extremely dangerous,” Lutz writes. “Look at dictators. Dictators invariably wind up destroying the very countries they thought their omniscience and omnipotence would make great. It’s fast and it’s efficient, but at huge risk.”

Red Sage ca us | 21 november 2015

Interesting. There have always been dictators. My observation has been that no one really has a problem with dictators who follow the script, keep their heads down, don't cause trouble for their ~*ahem*~ 'betters'... It is the dictators that have the unmitigated gall to be both: 1) successful; and 2) prideful, that the ~*ahem*~ 'Free World' seems to have a problem with... And thus, make sure they end up dead. Assassination, coup d'etat , or invasion are the only apparent solutions to the 'problem' that ~*ahem*~ 'those people' represent. Gotta doing something about that cough...

Anyway... It seems that Mr. Lutz' comments may have been very thinly aimed at Elon Musk, I think. He is famously rather detail oriented, and I believe he takes his duties as Chief Product Architect very seriously at Tesla Motors. But as someone who has also been accused of being a 'control freak', on the verge of so-called 'obsessive compulsion' or supposed Narcissism, I don't see any problem with the level of control he exerts. In fact, I do not believe the goals he sets could be accomplished without it.

No... The destruction of such a company is more likely to come from without than within... As shown with Tucker and DeLorean. Tesla Motors is much more likely to fail without Elon Musk, and with the guidance of more traditional, hands off management.

brando | 27 februari 2016


Management in manufacturing is suppose to always be considering buy vs build.
Tesla couldn't find motors, so they build in house.
Tesla couldn't find large enough touch screens, so they build in house.
Tesla had problems with Model X 2nd row seats, they started building in house.
Motor controller - repeat in house.

Elon was actually asked by Stock analyst how Elon was going to obsolete current Model S to get buyers to buy the new model. Elon often says, continual improvement. Almost 20 improvements per week - I wonder if he actually meant per month?? Anyway, Elon noted Tesla does not have model years, just continuous improvement. But you can lease, or get guarantee price buy back.

vperl | 27 februari 2016

QC, best done at manufacturers site. Parts and Qualified people are available. When shipped with defects, the QC has failed.

Cracked charging port, bad door and seat MOTORS..... Fail.

Bubba2000 | 28 februari 2016

Conferring that MS is the first mass produced auto, Tesla has done quite well and is improving. Yes, they could haved used simple mechanical door handles. Over tome, Tesla will improve MS design to optimize precision, manufacturing. Electric drive is much simpler than ICE. With volume, Tesla will get hi quality suppliers.

In the end, no ICE will match the reliability and quality of an induction motor.

vperl | 28 februari 2016

QC, needs to be completely done at Fremont. The Service Center QC ought to be just a formality.

Excuses for the factory QC are silly. No one noticed. Cracked charge ports, seat MOTORS not working ? That is a short list.

BozieB | 28 februari 2016

What is really amazing in all of this, is the distinction of what caused these defects. Were these design/assembly related, or parts supplier issues?.
A quick web search will show that Toyota or Honda, DO, have their issues as well. The difference being, who made the front page advertising that recall. US manufactors always make the front page, while our foreign competitors mistakes are usually buried - Deep.

When our plant finds a defect in testing, the part supplier who made the part, sends their employees into our plant to hand sort each and every part. When and if a part does make it into the field (sold car), the entire fleet is recalled and the parts supplier has to make a monetary penalty.
Guess who's fault is assigned to the recall? Our plant!
But if a defect is design related (poor specs in material/design) that defect does take time to show up and should be cause for re engineering and a 'AS' moment and a bad grade.

vperl | 29 februari 2016

Point being, who does QC at suppliers factory, who does final QC at Fremont?

Time to pull on big boy panties, do real QC, not just go through the motions of real QC.

I await more how this does not matter, since they are trying so hard.



FREE ENERGY | 29 februari 2016

Quality Management (Control) = Satisfaction of Expectations...

brando | 1 maart 2016

Bozie - I think it is called taking responsibility vs passing the buck?

vperl | 1 maart 2016

Or in today's vernacular, passing on the " steaming pile of crap" .

sp_tesla | 1 maart 2016

"BozieB | February 28, 2016
The difference being, who made the front page advertising that recall. US manufacturers always make the front page, while our foreign competitors mistakes are usually buried - Deep."

All foreign & domestic Mfg mistakes of cars sold in USA are disclosed in financial pages of most reputable news organizations.

vperl | 5 maart 2016

I understand control, but having the inspections/inspectors actually make quality inspection decisions at the Fremont plant is in question. Do not pass the buck to the service centers.

vperl | 7 maart 2016

Gotta love QC, wonder who is in charge at Fremont and why ?

onthlam | 8 maart 2016

I've seen this door trim issue. Not pretty... this was on inventory from a couple weeks ago... It's embarrassing just to look at.
The CSR said, don't worry.. The service center will fix it to the way I want it...
How bout just doing it right at the factory?

FREE ENERGY | 9 maart 2016

Continual improvement:
Continual improvement is a set of activities that an organization routinely carries out in order to enhance its ability to meet requirements. Continual improvement can be achieved by carrying out internal audits, performing management reviews, analyzing data, and implementing corrective and preventive actions.

Customer satisfaction: Customer satisfaction is a perception. It is also a question of degree. It can vary from high satisfaction to low satisfaction. If customers believe that you've met their requirements, they experience high satisfaction. If they believe that you've not met their requirements, they experience low satisfaction.

A quality is a characteristic that a product or service must have. For example, products must be reliable, useable, and repairable. These are some of the characteristics that a good quality product must have. Similarly, service should be courteous, efficient, and effective. These are some of the characteristics that a good quality service must have. In short, a quality is a desirable characteristic.
However, not all qualities are equal. Some are more important than others. The most important qualities are the ones that customers want. These are the qualities that products and services must have.
So providing quality products and services is all about meeting customer requirements. It's all about meeting the needs and expectations of customers. So a quality product or service is one that meets the needs and expecations of customers.

Quality assurance
Quality assurance (Q.A.) is defined as a set of activities whose purpose is to demonstrate that an entity meets all quality requirements. Q.A. activities are carried out in order to inspire the confidence of both customers and managers, confidence that all quality requirements are being met.

Quality control:
Quality control is defined as a set of activities or techniques whose purpose is to ensure that all quality requirements are being met. In order to achieve this purpose, processes are monitored and performance problems are solved.

Quality improvement:
Quality improvement refers to anything that enhances an organization's ability to meet quality requirements.

Quality management:
Quality management includes all the activities that managers carry out in an effort to implement their quality policy. These activities include quality planning, quality control, quality assurance, and quality improvement.

Quality management system:
AA quality management system is a web of interconnected processes. Each process uses resources to turn inputs into outputs. And all of these processes are interconnected by means of many input-output relationships. Every process generates at least one output, and this output becomes an input for another process. These input-output relationships glue all of these processes together - that's what makes it a system.

Total quality management
Total quality management is defined as a management approach that tries to achieve and sustain long-term organizational success by encouraging employee feedback and participation, satisfying customer needs
and expectations, respecting societal values and beliefs, and obeying governmental statutes and regulations.

Service delivery:
Service delivery is a customer-oriented activity. Service delivery activities are carried out by organizations and are oriented towards meeting customer needs and expectations.

FREE ENERGY | 9 maart 2016

Bottom line, we are talking about...satisfaction of expectation...

vperl | 9 maart 2016

Customer satisfaction is a perception.


The rest is just excuses not to deliver actual results.

But, high-flying institutionalize rational is typical of folks that are philosophy majors, and non producers.

Get a real job, you are measured daily on performance, not your perception.

Ankit Mishra | 9 maart 2016

And the performance is 50000 S sold last year. X will catch up soon. Next time, get in line sooner.

FREE ENERGY | 9 maart 2016

Definitions above are core issues when you are in a need to be ISO 9001:2015 certified. All part of my occupation for 40 years. Anything you may need to clearify regarding the profession of quality management, ask me :-)

FREE ENERGY | 9 maart 2016

Elon by the way, he is on a continous hunt for socalled "fixers", basically the core of quality management...

brando | 21 maart 2016

As per previous post, Edward Deming encourages everyone to take responsibility for quality.
A receiving clerk can spot a faulty - cracked - part.

You don't add-on quality with inspectors and auditors, you build quality in with responsible employees always striving for perfection and taking pride in their work.

You get the idea? Because apparently most of the US auto mfg. didn't.

greenbergmethew | 22 maart 2016

client places their order for a new Tesla Model S, there’s typically a two- to three-month wait until they take delivery of their new car, the last five hours of which is spent in a rigorous quality control inspection.