SAN FRANCISCO — Tesla Inc. is temporarily stopping production of the Model 3 sedan for the second time this year.
The automaker is pausing its Fremont, Calif., factory to “improve automation,” according to a Buzzfeed report. Last week, Tesla CEO told CBS News the company’s current production rate of 2,000 Model 3 vehicles a week was sustainable, and there would be a “three or fourfold increase in output in the second quarter.”
Tesla temporarily shut down production in February. A spokesman for the automaker referred to a statement from the first pause.
“Our Model 3 production plan includes periods of planned downtime in both Fremont and Gigafactory 1,” the statement read. “These periods are used to improve automation and systematically address bottlenecks in order to increase production rates. This is not unusual and is in fact common in production ramps like this.”
During the interview with CBS, Musk also said the company had included too much new technology in the Model 3 and was over-reliant on robots, both of which have slowed down production. On Friday, the executive tweeted, “Humans are underrated.”
Tesla has held the media spotlight for the past month. In March, a Model X owner was killed when his vehicle crashed in Mountain View, Calif. while the semiautonomous Autopilot system was engaged. The automaker publicly sparred with the National Transportation Safety Board over releasing information before it was verified by the agency and was kicked off the investigation.
On Monday, Tesla published a blog post attacking the Center for Investigative Reporting, after it released an investigative report into how the automaker reports injuries at its Fremont plant.
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