Is Tesla's Reputation at Risk With Consumers?

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Nov. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Tesla Motors said three employees at its California vehicle-assembly plant were injured by hot metal from a casting press during an industrial accident. Jamie Butters reports on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg West." (Source: Bloomberg)

Understand about this type of accident?

These accidents can happen from time to time.

What do you know?

You have really hit it.

We don't know a lot.

We know there was this accident that three people were hurt.

When you talk about injuries from hot metal, you are talking about extremely serious burns that could be very traumatic for those individuals and for everyone working around them.

The spirit of the workers there at the factory, which is one of those intangibles that seems to be on tesla's side as they try to get into the game as a scrappy underdog.

The practical risk for tesla is that this is their only factory.

If they cannot make cars for a while, they are not bringing in revenue and that's a real risk for them.

They have so many executional hurdles ahead.

This is one that wasn't even on anybody's list.

Being able to stick with the weekly production schedule, this is a company that has talked about in the neighborhood of 21,000 plus vehicles coming out in the course of a year?

Rex they are up to about 550 cars a week.

That's just not a lot.

If they can't make any -- they're trying so hard to get an extra couple hundred sales per quarter, so to lose 50 or 100 cars were the reduction puts a real challenge on them.

They are trying to make cars, so far of very high quality and this is one of the unexpected wings coming their way.

They have enough challenges.

And operational accident is something different than a car being on fire on the road.

You can't help but do it, but on the issues of the tesla reputation, what do you hear and what are people saying?

There seems to be no direct connection between the car fires and the industrial accident, but there is the risk of the headline trauma, people seeing these words over and over again.

A fire at a tesla factory -- listen, they are only talking to a small slice of the consuming population.

The cars cost between $70,000 and $100,000, so it is a pretty narrow group.

So far, the crash victims, none of them have an hurt.

But if more and more people start to get this idea that electric cars are dangerous, that is the kind of thing that could put a ceiling on their growth opportunities.

They are looking to build this into a company that makes $40,000 cars in a few years and they are going to look for a much bigger audience.

They might not be able to count on a handful of people who are passionate about these cars.

Elon musk said yesterday that there would not be a recall, but some have asked the question is that his call?

Is definitely not his call.

I didn't mean to interrupt.

The federal regulators will look at the statistical likelihood of an accident.

Are these accidents coming in situations that are fairly routine and predictable and should be expected?

How serious are the injuries?

Regulators, like any of us, take things very seriously when people get hurt or killed.

That's why there is so much recall structure around things like fires.

Those are fires where you have some pretty grisly incidents, and these cases so far, you have had fast driven cars or cars that have hit large metal objects.

The person pulls over and gets out and it are stingy flames, it's a still a traumatic thing with a lot of fire.

On the surface, it seems like there may not have to be a recall.

I think that's what elon musk was trying to say.

Statistically there's nothing here and no one has been hurt, but the safety regulators have the need that something he done.

Lots of different storylines here, but thanks for shedding

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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