Earlier this week, a Model S traveling at highway speed struck a large metal object, causing significant damage to the vehicle. A curved section that fell off a semi-trailer was recovered from the roadway near where the accident occurred and, according to the road crew that was on the scene, appears to be the culprit. The geometry of the object caused a powerful lever action as it went under the car, punching upward and impaling the Model S with a peak force on the order of 25 tons.
After a careful examination, we have concluded that some Model S vehicles manufactured between May 10, 2013 and June 8, 2013 may contain a defect. Specifically, the attachment strength of the mounting bracket for the left hand latch of the second row seat could be weaker than intended. This reduces our confidence that the left hand seat back will be properly retained in the event of a crash.
On February 26, at an event hosted by Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Elon Musk announced Tesla will pay off our Department of Energy (DOE) loan five years early, twice as fast as required by the original 2010 loan agreement signed by Tesla and the DOE.
There are reasons why Tesla is pursuing a company owned store and service center model that we feel are really important. In many respects, it would be easier to pursue the traditional franchise dealership model, as we could save a lot of money on construction and gain widespread distribution overnight. Many smart people have argued over the years that we should do this, just like every other manufacturer in the United States, so why have I insisted that we take a unique path?
GASOLINE vs ELECTRIC
Now that our financing round is complete, I would like to clear up some misconceptions that arose last week as a result of our filing a public market financial prospectus. SEC rules rightly limit interaction with the press during a financing round to prevent companies from promoting stock. Unfortunately, this made it difficult for me to respond properly when some journalists gained the wrong impression.
GET AMPED TOUR WRAP UP
Almost one month ago to the day we announced one of the biggest milestones in Tesla’s history…our first customer deliveries of Model S. Over the past four weeks we have enjoyed welcoming you into the birthplace of Model S and sharing with you a collection of images highlighting each segment of the Model S manufacturing process. This week we share with you the final video of our Inside Tesla series. Watch as we infuse soul into your Model S on the Final Assembly line.
Can you feel the excitement? Last week’s news about test drives has everyone buzzing. Thank you to everyone who commented on the blog. Seeing your enthusiasm helps us know that we’re headed in the right direction. So let’s jump right in to this week’s Inside Tesla!
This week we head to the Paint Center, where your Model S takes its first step to becoming uniquely yours. Watch as a Body-in-White comes to life with the paint color of your choice.