Tesla Reportedly Sends Dealers Cars Without ‘Key Parts,’ Including Seats

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Tesla never has been fond of following the herd.

As the Silicon Valley-based automaker attempts to ramp-up production of its Model 3, a Financial Times report Friday revealed that Tesla doesn’t actually finish manufacturing all of its vehicles at the factory, according to Jalopnik. Tesla instead ships some new cars to dealers sans “key parts,” including seats.

“This goes back years,” an unnamed former Tesla executive told Financial Times. “It was common, common in every market — the seats, the displays were being flown in.”

Although the unusual practice raises concerns over quality control, it reportedly doesn’t violate any regulations.

Elon Musk’s EV company claims the reason it has dealers finish the assembly process stems from the fact that it sometimes updates its vehicle’s hardware or software mid model year.

“As but one example, that means occasionally we will even send, say, new certified parts to meet a car at the delivery center if those items have been upgraded after the car has shipped,” Tesla said in a statement. “This process may be unfamiliar to some, but has worked very well for us, as our customers know that if we can add value or make something better, we will do everything we can to do it right away.”

Tesla has hit a rough patch lately, with Model 3 production resulting in $671 million in losses in the third quarter. Assembly line problems also have hindered Tesla’s productivity, forcing it to push back the timeline for its goal of building 5,000 Model 3s per week until 2018.

Thumbnail photo via Tesla

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