Dozens of Tesla Model 3, Model S and Model X vehicles have been discovered in a parking lot in Southern California.
Reddit users, as well as a reporter from Automobile Magazine, have visited the facility to find dozens of new Model 3s collecting dust rather than being delivered to customers.
Upon scouring the facility, Automobile discovered that there were at least 26 Model 3s in there, some with Quality Assurance checklists displayed that revealed that they had failed inspections or suffered some kind of damage. Additionally, there were a number of Model S and Model X vehicles that had failed inspections, with one that had ‘Structure’ written across its windshield, perhaps in reference to an issue.
Could Tesla be using this facility to store defective vehicles? It’s hard to be sure, but it’s certainly a possibility.
On the other hand, Electrek (whose writers own Tesla stock…) assert that the cars may simply be in storage for the impending Tesla Semi reveal and could be used to provide test drives to members of the media attending the event. This seems unlikely, however, as it would be irresponsible to offer test drives of vehicles with issues significant enough to fail final inspections.
The last few months haven’t been easy for Tesla. Although the carmaker ceremoniously delivered a handful of Model 3s to employees in July, volume production of the entry-level electric sedan has yet to commence and isn’t expected to until next year.
Furthermore, Tesla has encountered quality control issues in the past, including a Model S being delivered with a split A-pillar and faulty Model X falcon doors. Furthermore, the carmaker often introduces incomplete and unproven features to its vehicles, such as Autopilot.
Update: Responding to these reports, an unnamed Tesla source told us that the cars were moved to this area temporarily as the company’s service and delivery center is being used for the Tesla semi reveal.