Tesla downplays reports of fire aftereffects in factory paint shop
June 1, 2018  Rex Crum

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Tesla on Friday sought to downplay reports about the severity of several
fires in the paint shop of its Fremont factory by saying that the electric
carmaker has systems in place to lower the possibility of such incidents and
reduce the chances of harm to its employees.

Tesla was responding to a report from CNBC that said five people “familiar
with operations” at the Fremont plant claimed that Tesla has had at least
four fires in its paint shop since 2014. The unnamed sources cited by CNBC
said the fires resulted from improper cleaning and  maintenance of
equipment, as well as new employees not getting enough training to deal with
such circumstances due to production-goal demands.

The main fire in question occurred in April, which Tesla acknowledged
shortly after it took place. Tesla said that fire happened in one of the
several dozen paint shop areas at the factory and afterward, the company
used one production shift to get the fire and its aftermath under control.
CNBC reports that Tesla did not report that fire to the Fremont Fire
Department, according to a department spokesperson.

Tesla said it suffered no material delay in production as a result of the

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“We immediately mobilized an internal team to learn from the event and we’re
confident that the steps we’re taking will prevent similar events from
occurring in the future,” said a Tesla spokesperson in a statement given to
this news organization.

Tesla also denied a report that parts that were burned in the fire were used
in the production of its vehicles. The CNBC report also said employees were
concerned about poor air quality and other fire hazards in the plant’s
painting facility.

The Tesla spokesperson said the company has taken steps to improve the
safety of its paint-shop operations, “including significant upgrades to
equipment, as well as an extensive maintenance effort involving cleaning and
calibration. In order to protect the health of our employees. We also
conduct regular air monitoring and have proper ventilation and personal
protective equipment.”
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