According to a report in the German media, Tesla has dismissed the project manager responsible for the construction of Giga-Berlin, Evan Horetsky. Reasons for the dismissal are unclear, but could apparently be due to a dispute over unpaid water bills. Elsewhere, Tesla has problems with customers in the Netherlands and authorities in China.
The German news outlet rbb claims to have the information about Horetsky’s dismissal from industry circles. Tesla did not provide any information and said that as a rule, they don’t make comments on personnel details.
Before being dismissed, Evan Horetsky’s official title was Head of Engineering, Procurement and Construction. Horetsky has a great deal of experience with Tesla, including his involvement in the construction of Gigafactory 1 in Nevada and Gigafactory 3 near Shanghai. He was also responsible for preparing production at the main Fremont plant. So his range of experience covers not only the construction of entire factories but also production lines and factory logistics, for example.
According to industry insiders giving information to rbb, the reason for the dismissal is said to be the dispute over unpaid water bills. Tesla had not paid an invoice for the construction water, so last week the Strausberg Erkner water board turned off the water at the construction site after the deadline had expired. When Tesla paid the bill, the water was put on again.
Brandenburg’s Minister of Economics, Jörg Steinbach (SPD), contradicted this version of events: “This should not be a blemish on him, the dismissal has other reasons, but the employer has to explain them, I will not comment on that”, he said. The dismissal of Horetsky is said to have caused uncertainty at the construction site. Tesla was not open to further discussion.
Meanwhile, Tesla continues to struggle with quality problems in its vehicles. In China, the electric car manufacturer is recalling some 48,000 imported Model S and Model X cars for safety-related suspension problems, according to the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR). This affects older vehicles produced between 2013 and 2018. Apparently, parts of the front and rear wheel suspension will be replaced as part of the campaign.
As Electrek reports, Elizabeth H. Mykytiuk, Tesla’s managing counsel for regulatory affairs has now commented on the case: “Due to the opinion of SAMR/DPAC that the topic required a recall in the China market, Tesla was left with the choice of either voluntarily recalling the subject vehicles or carrying a heavy burden through the Chinese administrative process. While Tesla disagrees with the opinion of SAMR/DPAC, the Company has decided not to dispute a recall for the China market only.”
Tesla also stated that Tesla had not found any defect, neither in the rear wishbone of the front suspension nor in the upper wishbone of the rear suspension. In addition, Tesla sees the blame with the drivers saying that “.. damageability is uniquely severe in the China market. If the customer inputs an abuse load (e.g., curb impact, severe pothole strike, etc.), then the parts may be damaged…”
At the same time, an article in a Netherlands publication reported that Tesla is being hit with a class action lawsuit from dissatisfied Tesla owners because of various quality problems. According to the report, a total of 100 Dutch Tesla drivers have joined the ‘Tesla Claim Foundation’, which is preparing a class action suit.
According to the foundation, Tesla falsely claims to be a service-oriented brand with cars that are virtually maintenance-free. After buying a Tesla with high hopes based on these claims, “Tesla drivers often have to deal with all kinds of defects and hardly know how to reach the manufacturer for repair appointments,” says Sieger Suurbier from the foundation. The issues to be addressed include problems with drive shafts, doors, noise, vibrations, water leaks, paint damage and even the batteries.