Elon Musk has a history of making claims about Tesla’s safety record that don’t match the numbers – and the CEO’s doing it again.
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Last week, as part of Musk’s Twitter attack on journalistic credibility – and rant about Reveal – he tweeted, “Tesla factory safety has improved every year & is now better than industry avg.”
Pravda was incorporated a year ago. Also, Tesla factory safety has improved every year & is now better than industry avg. Misleading articles refer to Tesla being worse than avg in 2015 when we were just figuring things out.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 25, 2018
But as Reveal reported two days before, Tesla’s overall injury rate for 2017 was actually slightly worse than the industry average: Tesla had 6.3 injuries per 100 employees, compared with the average of 6.2.
That’s based on Tesla’s official numbers, which themselves are an undercount because the company hasn’t recorded all of its work injuries as required by law.
And Tesla’s official 2017 rate for serious injuries – those requiring days away from work or job restrictions – was 30 percent higher (meaning worse) than the most recent industry average, according to the company’s official injury report.
So what is Musk tweeting about? When asked, the company said he was referring to Tesla’s safety record so far for 2018. There won’t be an official tally for this year until early next year, and Tesla declined to share any actual numbers, so there’s no way to fact check them.
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