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A Tesla recycling machine caught fire at its Fremont factory, but the company says production was not affected (TSLA)

Mark Matousek
tesla fremont factory

Tesla


  • A cardboard baler — which compresses cardboard to make it easier to store and recycle — caught fire outside Tesla's factory in Fremont, California, on Thursday.
  • The Fremont Fire Department said on Twitter that the cardboard baler caught fire after overheating and that there were no injuries.
  • A Tesla representative told Business Insider that the fire was in a structure that holds cardboard, wood, and paper products that are being recycled and that it was not near the open-air structure the company built to house a new assembly line for its Model 3 sedan.
  • The fire did not affect vehicle production, the representative said, and Tesla is investigating what caused the fire.


A cardboard baler — which compresses cardboard to make it easier to store and recycle — caught fire outside Tesla's factory in Fremont, California, on Thursday.

On Friday, the Fremont Fire Department said on Twitter that the cardboard baler caught fire after overheating. The department said the fire did not spread beyond the machine, but the machine and the tent it was housed in were damaged. There were no injuries, the department said.

A Tesla representative told Business Insider that the fire was in a structure that holds cardboard, wood, and paper products that are being recycled and that it was not near the open-air structure the company built to house a new assembly line for its Model 3 sedan. The fire did not affect vehicle production, the representative said, and Tesla is investigating what caused the fire.

On Sunday, a fire inside the factory shut the factory's body production line down for several hours. A Tesla representative said the fire did not cause any injuries or significant equipment damage.

Tesla recently built a new vehicle assembly line outside the factory. The new line is housed in an open-air structure that CEO Elon Musk referred to on Twitter as "a giant tent." Musk said the assembly line was built in three weeks with "minimal resources" and that he preferred the open-air structure to the factory building.

The new assembly line comes as Tesla seeks to ramp up production for the Model 3. The company has repeatedly missed production goals for the vehicle, but during Tesla's annual shareholder meeting on June 5, Musk said it was on track to hit its goal of making 5,000 Model 3s a week by the end of the month. 

The company has made about 30,000 Model 3s this year, according to internal documents reviewed by Business Insider and confirmed by two Tesla employees. A person familiar with Model 3 production told Business Insider that Tesla had made around 6,000 Model 3s this month as of Tuesday.

If you've worked for Tesla and have a story to share, you can contact this reporter at mmatousek@businessinsider.com.

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