California Regulators Investigating Tesla After Report on Work Conditions


California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health said that it has opened an investigation into Tesla over a report about worker protections at the company's lone auto plant in Fremont, California.

California's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal-OSHA) opened the inspection on Tuesday.

Cal/OSHA's investigation will include a review of Tesla's Log 300, a log of work-related injuries and illnesses, according to the agency's spokesperson Erika Monterroza. In a statement late Wednesday, a Tesla spokesperson said it was cooperating with the investigation and defended the plant's safety record.

The Reveal report, which quoted former environmental, health and safety professionals and company documents, included a number of details that suggested employees were eager not to displease their hands-on boss, Musk, who has taken to once again sleeping at the factory to oversee production. According to the article, she was told "Elon does not like the color yellow".

For over a year, the United Auto Workers union has been trying to organize Fremont workers.

A self-claimed data geek and apparently a Tesla fan moved by the disclosure by company's CEO Elon Musk that he sleeps at the floor of his factory to ramp up Tesla Model 3's production, has started a GoFundMe campaign.

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The automaker has been facing increased pressure as it struggles to meet demand for its Model 3 electric sedan.

While Musk has bragged about the ability of robots to simplify the vehicle building process, he recently walked that back and said humans needed to be more involved. Tesla's use of robots to assemble Model 3s has led to more complexity and delays, which Musk acknowledged last week in a tweet: "Excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake".

On April 3, Tesla issued a press release saying "several short factory shutdowns to upgrade equipment" had helped it double the weekly Model 3 production rate for the first quarter of this year.

After complaints from first-day reservation holders in the U.S. who had yet to receive their invite, CEO Elon Musk said that there was an issue with the rollout and that Tesla was working on it.

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