Tech

Elon Musk, Tesla stock and Twitter problems

On the eve of Thanksgiving, Tesla is in trouble. Share prices of the electric car maker plunged more than 50 percent since the beginning of the year. And now fickle CEO Elon Musk unfocused with its shiny new $44 billion toy: Twitter.

Tesla has long enjoyed an unblemished reputation as both a luxury electric vehicle manufacturer and an investment opportunity. However, the problems in the company are piling up, and it seems that more customers and shareholders are paying attention to this. In recent weeks there have been several posts criticizing Tesla build quality. have garnered attention on social media, and hundreds of thousands of Tesla vehicles have been recalled. (over-the-air updates will be address problems with cars rear lights and front passenger airbagtwo of the recent calls made by the company.) So while Musk is busy putting out fires on Twitter — and running his other companies, SpaceX, Boring Company and Neuralink — Tesla’s reputation seems to be suffering.

Let’s start with Musk himself. After its acquisition by Twitter, some experts and analysts concerned what new work Mask may undermine his duties as CEO of Tesla and contribute to its cratering share price. Keep in mind that Musk too funded much of his deal to acquire Twitter sold off his own shares of Teslaas well as reportedly authorized more than 50 Tesla engineers to work on Twitter when he took over last month. At the same time, Tesla is currently facing a lawsuit alleging that Musk’s 2018 compensation package was unduly affected by Tesla’s board of directors’ personal ties to Musk. (The lawsuit also calls The Mask “part-time CEO.”) Several lawsuits have been filed against the company related to its workplace, including lawsuits for sexual harassment, racismand “toxicworkplace culture over the last year or so.

There are also problems with the cars themselves. Build quality has been a constant criticism of Tesla, and reliability study published Consumer Reports found this month that the company is still having problems with bodywork and steering systems, among other things. Tesla repairs remain a major problem, a Recode investigation showed last summer. The problem is so severe that GM said in a recent investor presentation that its dealers have apparently repaired over 11,000 Tesla cars from last year. A TikTok video documenting one Tesla’s build quality, including a wobbly trunk lid, has been filmed over 4 million views earlier this month.

Steven Elek, data analyst at Consumer Reports, said in a statement, “Build quality continues to be an issue for Tesla. In our latest reliability review, owners reported issues with body parts, as well as paint and trim on the Model S, Model 3, and Model Y. Tailgates that don’t close properly, loose trim and moldings, and faded paint are some from specific problems. defects that we heard about from Tesla owners.”

Then there are the Tesla testimonials, which total 19 since the beginning of this year (GM has produced 25 and Ford has produced 63, for reference, although they have also produced many more vehicles). In addition to last week’s recalls, the company has also recalled some vehicles due to issues with their power steering in November and other cars that might ignore stop signs in February.

Many of these recalls are issued without the vehicles experiencing major safety issues and they are not require physical changes to cars. Instead, they are processed through over-the-air updates, which allow Tesla to make necessary repairs, essentially through internet downloads. These fixes are obviously easier than taking the car in for repairs or replacing it entirely. However, as Recode previously explained, these kinds of reviews – because they’re so easy to deal with – can also create a cycle in which regulators are constantly striving to catch up with dangerous software.

Tesla’s plan to become a self-driving car company doesn’t seem to be going so well either. Even when other companies abandon their aspirations for an autonomous vehicle Amid the economic downturn, Elon Musk is still touting Tesla’s so-called full self-driving software – a beta version of the company’s system is available. supposed to be available to more Tesla owners by the end of this year.

And now Tesla another lawsuit to comefiled in September by the owners, who say Musk has misled customers about how advanced and how functional the technology is. The government also intervened: Reuters informed in October, the Department of Justice is investigating Tesla technology, and the Securities and Exchange Commission is also launched probe. At the same time, an initiative called the Dawn Project is calling for a ban on Tesla’s full self-driving software. To support these efforts, the project released video and advertising meant to highlight the dangers of Tesla’s technology, including a television campaign in which Tesla shoots down a baby dummy. The automaker recently sent termination letter in reply.

Oh, and Tesla’s competitors are starting to pose a bigger threat. While the company is still the darling of the emerging electric vehicle industry, companies like Ford and GM are looking to get ahead of Tesla and expand their production. Startups like Lucid and Rivian are also trying to outdo Elon Musk’s cars in the luxury market.

These companies probably don’t mind that Musk is currently spending his time rebuilding Donald Trump’s Twitter account and posting memes, as they could use that time to catch up. As Recode editor Adam Clark Estes wrote When the news of Musk’s acquisition was first announced, “But if there ever was a time to get a head start, it’s now. Tesla’s boss is away. Time to play.”

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